Fast‐track surgery is a multidisciplinary approach to surgery that results in faster recovery from surgery and decreased length of stay (LOS).

The aims of this study were as follows: (i) to report on the processes required for the introduction of fast‐track surgery to a gynaecological oncology unit and (ii) to report the results of a clinical audit conducted after the protocol’s implementation.

A fast‐track protocol, specific to our unit, was developed after a series of multidisciplinary meetings. The protocol, agreed upon by those involved in the care of women in our unit, was then introduced into clinical practice. An audit was conducted of all women undergoing laparotomy, with known or suspected malignancy. Information on LOS, complication and readmission rates was collected. Descriptive statistics and Poisson regression were used for statistical analysis.

The developed protocol involved a multidisciplinary approach to pre‐, intra‐ and postoperative care. The audit included 104 consecutive women over a 6‐month period, who were followed for 6 weeks postoperatively. The median LOS was 4 days. The readmission rate was 7% and the complication rate was 19% (1% intraoperative, 4% major and 14% minor). Multivariate analysis revealed that increased duration of surgery and increasing age were predictors of longer LOS.

The development of a fast‐track protocol is achievable in a gynaecological oncology unit, with input from a multidisciplinary team. Effective implementation of the protocol can result in a short LOS, with acceptable complication and readmission rates when applied non‐selectively to gynaecological oncology patients.