Will cancer diagnosis centres improve outcomes for cancer patients?
NHS England is to open centres in 10 areas of the country which aim to diagnose cancer faster than at present.
The aim is to meet the new diagnosis standard whereby patients should either receive a diagnosis or the all clear within 28 days.
Those who receive a diagnosis will either be referred to a specialist or if the condition is benign they will receive treatment and advice about prevention.
Patients will generally get a diagnosis within two weeks of their first appointment, said NHS England.
The move follows the launch of multidisciplinary diagnostic centres in Denmark and aims to tackle the problem of patients presenting with vague symptoms and being referred for multiple test when what they need is an urgent diagnosis.
Symptoms patients present with include weight loss, appetite loss, abdominal discomfort or pain, fatigue or general malaise, which can be attributable to various cancers or other diseases.
The pilot centres are part of the accelerate, co-ordinate and evaluate (ACE) early diagnosis programme, a joint scheme by NHS England, Cancer Research UK and Macmillan.
The centres are located at:
- North Middlesex University Hospital,
- University College London Hospital,
- Southend University Hospital,
- Queens Hospital
- Royal Free Hospital
- St James University Hospital
- Airedale General Hospital
- University Hospital South Manchester
- Royal Oldham Hospital
- Churchill Hospital