Your local specialist centre

Your local specialist centre

In the UK anyone diagnosed with pancreatic cancer should have their case reviewed at a cancer centre where there is a specialist team to assess and treat pancreatic cancer. This is called a multidisciplinary team (MDT). In particular, national guidelines state that surgery should only be carried out in specialist centres that see a lot of pancreatic cancer patients. Research has shown that this gives patients the best outcomes.

These centres have been set up across the UK on a regional basis. Hospitals in a region work together with the specialist centres to try to ensure the best treatment and care for all patients. Find your nearest specialist centre.

People with pancreatic cancer may not have to go to the specialist centre. Tests and investigations are often done at local hospitals, as is chemotherapy treatment. But wherever someone is treated, the specialist centre should always be involved in decisions about their treatment. You can ask the doctors which specialist centre is involved in your care, and about the decisions made by the specialist team at the specialist centre.

You can compare hospitals providing care for pancreatic cancer using the My Cancer Treatment website. The site contains detailed reports on the quality of service at different hospitals and allows you to compare services.

The multidisciplinary team (MDT)

The multidisciplinary team (MDT) is the team of medical professionals responsible for your treatment and care. You probably won’t meet most of them, but they will meet to discuss the cancer and treatment options. The MDT will use their expert knowledge, together with national guidelines for pancreatic cancer treatment, to agree on the best treatment. They should also take your wishes into account.

The health professionals most likely to be involved are the gastroenterologist and oncologist. But others, such as a dietitian, will be involved if necessary.

You will be given a main contact, who will usually be a specialist nurse (either a hepatobiliary or upper gastrointestinal nurse specialist). They will support you, and will be the person you speak to most. They will also be a part of the MDT, and will let the MDT know how you are getting on.

If you have any problems getting the care you need, or questions about who to speak to, call our specialist nurses on our free Support Line.

Who do I call out of normal hospital hours or in an emergency?

You will normally be given a name and contact number if you need to talk to someone out of normal hospital hours.

If you are having chemotherapy you will have been given an emergency contact number to phone. For example, you should call if your temperature goes above 37.5ºC or 38ºC (depending on the advice you’ve been given by your chemotherapy team), which could be a sign of an infection.

In the case of any other emergency you should go to A&E, or call 999 and ask for an ambulance.

Finding your local specialist centre

This section contains details of hospitals that have pancreatic cancer specialist teams by region. Where available, links have been provided to hospital websites and information on the teams and centres treating pancreatic cancer.

These services may be called HPB (hepatopancreaticobiliary) centres as the same specialists may work with people affected by pancreatic, liver, gallbladder and bile duct cancers.

ENGLAND

Scotland

Wales

Northern Ireland  

Ireland

Updated May 2015

Review date November 2015

Information Standard

Specialist centres - references

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