Feasibility and usability of a regional hub model for colorectal cancer services during the COVID-19 pandemic

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The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic produced unprecedented challenges, at a global level, in the provision of cancer care. With the ongoing need in the delivery of life-saving cancer treatment, the surgical management of patients with colorectal cancer required prompt significant transformation. The aim of this retrospective study is to report the outcome of a bespoke regional Cancer Hub model in the delivery of elective and essential colorectal cancer surgery, at the height of the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. 168 patients underwent colorectal cancer surgery from April 1st to June 30th of 2020. Approximately 75% of patients operated upon underwent colonic resection, of which 47% were left-sided, 34% right-sided and 12% beyond total mesorectal excision surgeries. Around 79% of all resectional surgeries were performed via laparotomy, and the remainder 21%, robotically or laparoscopically. Thirty-day complication rate, for Clavien–Dindo IIIA and above, was 4.2%, and 30-day mortality rate was 0.6%. Re-admission rate, within 30 days post-discharge, was 1.8%, however, no patient developed COVID-19 specific complications post-operatively and up to 28 days post-discharge. The established Cancer Hub offered elective surgical care for patients with colorectal cancer in a centralised, timely and efficient manner, with acceptable post-operative outcomes and no increased risk of contracting COVID-19 during their inpatient stay. We offer a practical model of care that can be used when elective surgery “hubs” for streamlined delivery of elective care needs to be established in an expeditious fashion, either due to the COVID-19 pandemic or any other future pandemics.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)619-628
Number of pages10
JournalUpdates in Surgery
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2022


  • Cancer
  • Colorectal surgery
  • COVID-19
  • SARS-CoV-2


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