New rapid diagnostic service launched at Hinchingbrooke

Hinchingbrooke Hospital patients with abnormal test results and those arriving with worrying symptoms suggestive of cancer are being targeted in a new fast-track diagnostic service.
hospital patient undergoing tests

The new service was outlined to people attending our regular Health and Care forum at Peterborough a few weeks ago.

It's being piloted by North West Anglia Foundation Trust (NWAngliaFT), which runs hospitals including Hinchingbrooke and Peterborough City.

And aims to identify people aged 16+ with non-specific symptoms that might be a sign of cancer and make quicker and earlier diagnoses.

The Rapid Diagnostic Service team is now searching out patients whose symptoms don’t easily fit the clear and recognised two-week wait cancer pathways. GPs can also refer patients to the service.

People identified are then triaged, assessed, tested, given a diagnosis and referred on for specialist care and treatment with hospital teams all within 28 days.

Not everyone using the service will be diagnosed with cancer. Some people will be discharged as no diagnosis is made. Around a third to half of patients are cancer-free but have a significant medical condition.

The new service tracks each patient’s progress against strict deadlines for each stage of the diagnosis journey.  Patients are also offered psychological support from a nurse specialist throughout.

The service, which began in July, as a pilot, has been commissioned by Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Clinical Commissioning Group.

Addenbrooke’s hospital in Cambridge is also involved and is considering developing its own service in the future.

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