Rapid Diagnostic Centre (RDC)

The rapid diagnostic centre provides a single point of contact to support patients with non-specific (vague) symptoms that may be due to cancer.

The service is based at the Friarage Hospital and aims to promote faster diagnosis by assessing patients’ symptoms holistically and providing a tailored pathway of clinically relevant diagnostic tests as quickly as possible.

GPs can refer patients to the RDC if they feel they have symptoms that require further investigation by a hospital specialist team so that problems can be investigated, and if needed, treated quickly and effectively.

Symptoms may include abdominal pain, unintentional weightloss, persistent fatigue or loss of appetite. These symptoms may be caused by a number of common conditions but they could also be cancer, so it is important for patients to be seen quickly.

The RDC provides:

  • Early identification
  • Timely referral
  • Broad assessment of symptoms
  • Coordinated testing
  • Timely diagnosis of symptoms
  • Appropriate onward referral
  • Excellent patient coordination and support

How to access the service

The RDC is currently open to referrals from GPs (via Choose and Book) and emergency departments.

Criteria for referral

  • GP ‘gut feeling’ of cancer diagnosis – reasons to be clearly described at referral
  • New unexplained and unintentional weight loss
  • New unexplained constitutional symptoms of four weeks or more (less if very significant concern). Symptoms include loss of appetite, fatigue, nausea, malaise, bloating
  • New unexplained vague abdominal pain of four weeks or more (less if very significant concern)
  • Unexplained new or progressive pain including bone pain, of four weeks or more

Exclusion criteria

  • Patient has specific alarm symptoms warranting referral onto site-specific two week wait pathway
  • Patient is too unwell or unable to attend as an outpatient or needs acute admission
  • Patient is likely to have a non-cancer diagnosis suitable for another specialist pathway
  • Patient is currently being investigated for the same problem by another specialist team

Contact us

If you are unsure whether to refer please call the RDC referral helpline:

  • 01609 763338 (Monday to Friday 9am to 4pm)

For any queries regarding the service please email stees.rdc@nhs.net

Rapid Diagnostic Centre, Friarage Hospital, Bullamoor Road, Northallerton, DL6 1JG