The Gynaecology Cancer Service at Chesterfield Royal Hospital (CRH) offers investigation, treatment planning and support to patients who are suspected or confirmed cancers affecting the endometrium, cervix, ovaries, peritoneum, vulva, vagina or fallopian tubes.

The Gynaecology Cancer Service follows a Multi-Disciplinary Team (MDT) model and works in conjunction with the regional specialist cancer teams based in Sheffield. This means that all patients confirmed, and some suspected, to have a gynaecology cancer will be discussed with a panel of experts to obtain their opinion regarding investigation and treatment planning.

The investigations leading up to diagnosis and those needed following diagnosis to determine the extent (staging) of the cancer will be organised and usually performed at Chesterfield whilst cancer treatment is usually provided by the team at Sheffield. Some procedures and surgeries are performed at Chesterfield. However, some surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy will be carried out and delivered at the Royal Hallamshire Hospital and/or Weston Park Hospital in Sheffield. 

Once investigations and staging is complete, patients are provided with full information to help them decide which treatment option they prefer. The precise treatment offered depends on the type of cancer and its extent at the time of diagnosis.  For patients whose treatment will be carried out at Sheffield, you will have a chance to meet the oncology team there prior to starting treatment; they will discuss treatment options in more detail and give an opportunity to ask further questions. Most outpatient appointments are held at Jessops Wing Hospital where Sheffield’s gynaecology outpatient department is based, others will be held at Weston Park Hospital. The Sheffield team will specify where the clinic appointment will be.

The investigations required to get you to this stage can sometimes include multiple tests in a number of different departments. The gynaecology team recognise that this can be a stressful time for patients and their families, therefore support is available from the Gynaecology Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS) who will act as a key worker and is able to keep patients informed of their progress during this period. The team will endeavour to ensure all investigations are performed as quickly as possible to reduce the waiting period. However during this time we can sometimes be waiting for biopsy results which may take longer. The CNS is available to contact by telephone to answer any questions, discuss any worries and to provide general support.

The gynaecology team recognise patient choice as a priority and for this reason, the team are happy to discuss alternative hospitals that are available to them for treatment. 

Essential Information for New Patients

Patients are referred to the service via a number of routes depending on their symptoms. They will usually be seen in one of our specialist clinics, in particular the gynaecology 2 week wait (fast track) clinic. Whatever the type of the first attendance, all appointments are at the Chesterfield main site and will be held in the Women’s Health Unit based in Scarsdale wing. 

2 Week Wait (Fast Track) Clinic

It is usually the GP who will refer patients to a ‘2 week wait fast track’ clinic. The clinic is designed to ensure that patients who have symptoms which may be caused by a gynaecological cancer are seen by a specialist team in a timely manner. The length of time the appointment may take will depend on symptoms and what investigations will need to be carried out during the appointment slot.

Some patients may require an abdominal and pelvic ultrasound scan (USS). This may also include a transvaginal USS where the ultrasound probe is inserted into the vagina to gain a clearer image of the female genital tract. Others may require a speculum examination, hysteroscopy, biopsy and/or blood test, all of which may be carried out during the one consultation. The team may also need to send patients for other investigations at a later date but this will be discussed during the appointment. Some patients may have already had an investigation organised by their GP prior to the appointment and the team will have a discussion with the patient about the results and what happens next.

Hysteroscopy Clinic

Some patients are referred to a hysteroscopy clinic when they have presented to the GP with post-menopausal or irregular bleeding. Patients receiving these appointments will usually have a copy of the hysteroscopy patient information leaflet enclosed with the appointment letter which will give them an idea of what to expect during the appointment. For those who have not received this leaflet, you can find more information about hysteroscopy on the internet: https://www.rcog.org.uk/globalassets/documents/patients/patient-information-leaflets/gynaecology/pi-outpatient-hysteroscopy-large-print.pdf

The procedure usually takes between 10-15 minutes. Some patients can find it causes pain and discomfort so we recommend patients take pain relief 1-2 hours prior to the appointment. The procedure can be carried out under a general anaesthetic as a day case procedure, please speak to the clinician if this is something you would prefer. The clinician will discuss the procedure in greater detail beforehand. You will sign a consent form and be given the opportunity to ask any further questions. Please note that you can eat and drink as normal prior to the procedure. 

General Points

Please take a full list of any medication you are currently taking to your first appointment.

The team realise that this can be a distressing time for patients and their families. For this reason, they aim to ensure patients have the opportunity to meet with the CNS at the time of diagnosis. They can offer support during the appointment and provide details on how to keep in contact during further investigations and treatment. 

Further tests are often required and the gynaecology team will ensure that these are completed in a timely manner. The team will aim to keep you informed of the progress and outcome of any investigations, either over the telephone or a face to face clinic consultation, and the team will be guided by patient preference.

Patients suspected/confirmed of cancer and undergoing investigations are given the highest level of priority in order to ensure treatment can be started at the earliest opportunity. However, we like to reassure patients that it is highly unlikely that any cancer will spread significantly during the period that it takes to confirm/fully stage the cancer.

For those whose treatment will be carried out in Sheffield, the Clinical Nurse Specialist at Chesterfield will remain involved in the patients’ care and will continue to support should the patient wish for this input.

How do I change my appointment?

You can contact the hospital on the following numbers

Women’s Health Unit 01246 513224
New Outpatient appointments 01246 512673

Alternatively, you can telephone the number on your appointment letter.

Can I bring someone with me?

Yes, please do.

The team appreciate the need for patients to be fully supported and the aim is to enable this whenever possible. Please be aware that the consultation rooms are often small and cannot accommodate large numbers of family members or friends under normal circumstances.

It is helpful if patients aim to be accompanied by the same family member or friend on each attendance, where possible.

COVID restrictions place extra challenges and the Trust must follow whatever national guidance is in place at the time you attend. Nevertheless, we have managed to continue to enable one relative or friend to be present during some clinical consultations. However, waiting areas are small and your companion may be asked to wait outside the hospital until you are actually seen. If you are unsure about what the current guidance is and whether someone may accompany you, please do not hesitate to contact the gynaecology department who can advise: 01246 513224.

Please note, even under non-pandemic conditions, relatives or friends are not able to be present during radiological imaging such as USS, CT and MRI.

For more information on Coronavirus whilst attending the hospital please click here.

Useful information sites for patients diagnosed with cancer

NGS Macmillan Cancer Information and Support Centre at Chesterfield Royal Hospital.
01246 516406   Mon – Fri   0830-1630
Email crhft.macmillaninfo@nhs.net

Macmillian Cancer Support
https://www.macmillan.org.uk

Jo’s Cervical Cancer Charity
https://www.jostrust.org.uk/

Ovacome Ovarian Cancer Charity
https://www.ovacome.org.uk/ 

Meet the team

Lead Clinician 
Ms Darly Mathew

Deputy Lead
Mr Graham Geary

Clinical Nurse Specialist
Emma Neylon  

Contact Information

Hospital main number 01246 277271  
CNS office number   01246 512996 Mon, Tues, Thurs & Fri   09.00-16.00 Out of hours answerphone. 
Women’s Health Unit 01246 513224  
Ms Darly Mathew & Mr Graham Geary CAO (Secretary) 01246 512751  

Alternatively, you can check your letter for further contact details