Rapid Diagnostic Centres

NCL Wide
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Rapid Diagnostic Centres (RDCs) offer a diagnostic pathway for all patients with non-specific symptoms that could indicate cancer. This patient cohort doesn’t necessarily fit the criteria for a referral onto a specific 2ww pathway.

Features and benefits:

  • provides a one-stop service where possible
  • a consultant led triage process that enhances the speed and efficiency of pathway
  • gives patients a clear diagnosis or onward management plan, in addition to tests that exclude/identify cancer
  • enables effective communication between primary and secondary care
  • enhanced support from clinicians, CNS and navigators
  • reduced need for GPs to make multiple cancer referrals when a cancer of unknown origin is suspected

GPs should request a prescribed set of investigations and Filter Function tests (i.e. blood tests) when making a referral. 

Patient with a definite or almost definite diagnosis of metastatic disease should be referred to a CUP service. 

In future the RDC will take patients with a suspected myeloma who have non-specific symptoms.


Watch the five Pancreatic Cancer Action GP Consultation Reconstruction videos accredited by the RCGP

Eligibility criteria


  • new unexplained and unintentional weight loss
  • new unexplained constitutional symptoms
  • new unexplained vague abdominal pain
  • GP ‘gut feeling’ of cancer diagnosis

How to refer

The following clinicians can refer to this service: GPs

EMIS form

Referral methods: e-Referrals

The referral process is as follows:

  • order ‘Filter Function’ test bundle (via tQuest or SunQuest)
  • complete ‘Filter Function’ tests
  • once Filter Function tests results are returned, download RDC referral form from EMIS and complete
  • select specific RDC clinic within e-RS
  • submit referral form via e-RS

Where to find the form

Local EMIS global document library systems in the 2WW Cancer Referral Forms folder > Rapid Diagnostic Centre (RDC) Suspected Cancer Non-Specific Symptoms - Referral 

For Camden, please find the form on the Camden Emis Forms page

Editable PDF / Word document Download Form

Referral methods: e-Referrals



Service at this location available from 9 December 2020

North Middlesex UniversityHospital

Service at this location went live on Monday 18 January 2021

Royal Free Hospital

Service at this location available from early February 2021 (exact date TBC)