Acute Oncology AOS

The Acute Oncology Service was launched in 2016 with initial funding for acute oncology nursing provided by Macmillan Cancer Support.  There is now an Acute Oncology Service in each Health and Social Care Trust.

Acute Oncology deals with admissions for patients who present to emergency department with suspect cancer or complications from cancer or cancer treatment including:

  • Treatment toxicities
  • Acute complications of the patients’ disease (such as malignant spinal cord compression)
  • Patients admitted as an emergency with a new diagnosis of cancer


The acute oncology service aims to:

  • Provide access to expert and timely oncology advice, in order to ensure appropriate management of the complications of cancer and its treatment.
  • Provide  timely and appropriate access to emergency treatment and, if necessary, hospital admission.
  • Ensure that the infrastructure is in place to provide this service.
  • Enhance the management of patients with previously undiagnosed cancer or cancer of an unknown primary.
  • When appropriate, informs patients of the risks of treatment and how to deal with problems.

NICaN facilitates an Acute Oncology Clinical Reference Group, which was established in 2018.  The clinical reference group has representation from each HSCT Acute Oncology Team, Public Health Agency, Health and Social Care Board, Allied Health Professionals and Patient and Public Representatives.


Related resources

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15 Dec 2015
Northern Ireland Cancer Network
These guidelines are the first regional acute oncology guidelines in Northern Ireland and will give a consistent and equitable approach to patient...