The Rapid Diagnosis Centre (RDC) programme was established to test a new model for cancer detection.
Based on a model developed in Denmark, RDCs aim to reduce the time from presentation at the GP to receiving a diagnosis and thus improve overall patient experience.
RDCs provide a diagnostic route for patients with non-specific but concerning (vague) symptoms who do not fit into a standard Urgent Suspected Cancer (USC) pathway, because of the absence of clear ‘red flag’ symptoms.
The RDC model addresses this inequality in Wales by offering a vague symptom pathway for patients with non-specific but concerning symptoms which may indicate cancer.
The ethos of the RDCs fits well with that of the Single Cancer Pathway (SCP). Both aim to improve efficiency throughout the patient journey by reducing variation, improving transition between primary and secondary care and overall patient outcomes.
In partnership with the Wales Cancer Network, Swansea Bay and Cwm Tâf Morgannwg health boards piloted RDCs and showed that they offer a cost-effective solution to improving outcomes for those with vague, non-specific symptoms.
They also proved effective at quickly diagnosing a range of other chronic health conditions and also provide prompt reassurance to those with no significant diagnosis and therefore meet the ambitions of ‘A Healthier Wales’.
Following the success of the pilots, the Wales Cancer Network has been working collaboratively with colleagues and organisations from across NHS Wales and the rest of the UK to develop a national programme to support the implementation of RDCs across Wales.
If you are interested in learning more please contact WCN.WalesCancerNetwork@wales.nhs.uk or watch this short video produced by the Welsh Government.