Rapid Diagnosis Centre at NPTH reduced cancer diagnosis waiting time by up to 92%

A pilot Rapid Diagnosis Centre service at Neath Port Talbot Hospital has been found to reduce waiting times for some patients by up to 92% and is also cost effective.

Patients in Swansea and Neath Port Talbot presenting to GPs with vague but possibly cancerous symptoms can now be referred to the RDC where they have fast access to a range of specialist tests and senior clinicians.

Swansea University has reviewed the service between June 2017 and May 2018 when GPs referred 198 patients to the clinic, which runs twice a week. Patients were either diagnosed with cancer and then put on the correct cancer treatment pathway, given a diagnosis for a different condition, told no serious problem could be found or send for further tests.

The evaluation report by Swansea University has now been published by the British Journal for General Practice and a copy of the report is attached below.

Its main results and conclusion says:

Results

The RDC reduces mean time to diagnosis from 84.2 days in usual care to 5.9 days if a diagnosis is made at clinic, or 40.8 days if further investigations are booked during RDC. RDC provision is the superior strategy (that is, less costly and more effective) compared with standard clinical practice when run near or at full capacity. However, it is not cost-effective if capacity utilisation drops below 80%.

Conclusion

An RDC for patients presenting with vague or non-specific symptoms suspicious of cancer in primary care reduces time to diagnosis and provides excellent value for money if run at  >80% capacity.

To read the full report in the British Journal for General Practice: link to RDC evaluation published in BJGP

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