DOI: 10.1093/ageing/afad246.001 ISSN: 0002-0729

1874 Developing a pathway direct to elderly medicine clinic for frail patients referred via colorectal fast-track: pilot and outcomes

A Nixon, T Memery, J Morgan, A Brown, C Scampion
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Aging
  • General Medicine



It is increasingly recognised within oncogeriatrics that standard fast-track pathways for suspected malignancy can be inappropriate for frail and elderly patients (Thomas et. al.; Age and Ageing; 2021; 50; ii8-ii13). Specifically for colorectal referrals, following standard pathways can mean undergoing invasive and expensive endoscopic investigations which may be unwanted and not alter overall management. Streaming frail patients to elderly medicine may increase opportunities for comprehensive geriatric assessment whilst reducing unwanted invasive tests and time spent on fast-track pathways.


A 3-month retrospective audit of frail patients seen in colorectal fast-track clinic was conducted to evaluate existing practice at Bradford Teaching Hospitals. This informed the design of a new pathway streaming frail patients directly to elderly clinic within 2 weeks. This was implemented in a 3-month pilot with data prospectively collected to compare outcomes.

Cohorts: - 26 patients (median age 79, WHO performance status 3) seen by colorectal team March-June 2022.

- 20 patients (median age 85, WHO performance status 2) streamed to elderly medicine clinic October 2022- March 2023.


- Median time to fast-track pathway removal was 62 days for patients managed via colorectal clinic compared to 31 days via elderly medicine. - Invasive tests and imaging (CT/endoscopy) fell from 1.4 tests per patient in colorectal clinic to 0.4 patients in the pilot. - 2 diagnoses of cancer made via colorectal clinic, but no further treatment for either patient. 1 diagnosis of lung cancer in pilot group, patient undergoing radiotherapy. - Patients seen in elderly clinic had greater rates of positive diagnosis for symptoms (e.g: infective/iatrogenic).


Streaming frail elderly patients referred via colorectal fast-track to elderly medicine reduced the number of invasive investigations undertaken and time spent on fast-track pathways. Expanding this successful pilot could improve long-term clinical quality in the service and more widely if disseminated.

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