The NHS Faster Diagnosis Standard (FDS) requires patients to be diagnosed or have cancer ruled out within 28 days of being referred urgently by their GP for suspected cancer. For patients who are diagnosed with cancer, it means their treatment can begin as soon as possible. For those who are not, they can have their minds put at rest more quickly.

We are working with our partners in the local health and care system to increase the number of patients diagnosed within 28 days and have funded local initiatives to enable Trusts to work towards the FDS. This includes navigators and expert nurses in tumour sites that have been challenged in providing a faster diagnosis for patients.

Best practice timed pathways support the on-going improvement effort to shorten diagnosis pathways, reduce variation, improve patient experience of care, and meet the Faster Diagnosis Standard. 

The following guidance has been published by NHS England and sets out how diagnosis within 28-days can be achieved for the suspected cancer pathway. Find them on FutureNHS Best Practice Timed Diagnostic Pathways:

Prostate Cancer UK has also published its Best Practice Pathway for Prostate Cancer. This sets out how to achieve an early diagnosis in men at higher than average risk of the disease. It also supports use of the most up-to-date, cutting-edge research-led innovations - so that healthcare professionals are equipped and supported to provide the very latest evidence-based best practice to their patients.

We are currently working with our trust partners on several projects to deliver Non-Specific Symptoms Pathways: