NHS England has announced the introduction of ten new one-stop shops across the country with an aim to speed up cancer diagnosis.
Under the new pilot scheme, GPs will be able to refer patients with non-specific symptoms including fatigue, unexplained weight loss and pain.
The centres are able to fast track patients, offering blood tests the same day as well as quicker access to scans and x-rays.
Because of this, they aim to diagnose the patient or give them the all clear within 28 days.
These new one-stop shops are not only good news for patients but they offer a much needed helping hand to GPs in improving cancer diagnosis and, ultimately, survival rates.Paula Chadwick, chief executive of Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation
Cally Palmer is the national director for cancer at NHS England:
“Early diagnosis is crucial to saving lives and providing peace of mind for patients which is why we are driving forward plans to revolutionise our approach to cancer in this country.
“These new one-stop shops represent a real step change in the way people with unclear symptoms are identified, diagnosed and treatment.”
Early diagnosis of lung cancer
These one-stop shops could play a significant role in improving early diagnosis of lung cancer.
Whilst cancer survival rates in general have improved dramatically over recent decades, lung cancer survival rates still lag dramatically behind. This is largely because the majority of lung cancer patients are diagnosed at late stage when curative treatment is no longer an option.
Paula Chadwick, chief executive of Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation, is encouraged by the news:
“We welcome all positive steps and innovations to improve the early diagnosis of cancer and specifically lung cancer.
“Lung cancer can be difficult to diagnose. Sadly, we hear all too often of patients going to their GP with symptoms such as fatigue, unexplained weight loss, pain or just generally feeling unwell only to be diagnosed with something else.
“Whilst frustrating and deeply upsetting, it is understandable; lung cancer symptoms can be very vague and also indicators of many other illnesses.
“So these new one-stop shops are not only good news for patients but they offer a much needed helping hand to GPs in improving cancer diagnosis and, ultimately, survival rates.”
The scheme will be piloted in 10 hospitals across England –
Royal Free Hospital, London North | Middlesex Hospital | London University College Hospitals London| Southend University Hospital | Queens Hospital, Romford | St James University Hospital, Leeds | Airedale General Hospital,West Yorkshire | University Hospital, South Manchester | Royal Oldham Hospital, Greater Manchester | Churchill Hospital, Oxford.
If successful, more centres will be rolled out across England.