You said, we did (Rapid Investigation Service)


The Rapid Diagnosis Service (RDS) started in 2020 and has been rolled out to almost all Wessex GP Practices over a period of six months.

The RDS has initially been developed for patients who have non-specific symptoms that might be a sign of cancer and so their GP refers them to the RDS for diagnostic tests that need to be carried out to either confirm or rule out cancer. 9 times out of 10, the patient will not have cancer and the RDS will discharge the patient back to their GP, or possibly to a specialist team depending on the outcome of the tests.

The final few geographical areas that have yet to start using the RDS for referrals of patients with non-specific symptoms, will be launching later in January 2021.

Since the service started, Wessex Cancer Alliance has been proactively seeking patient feedback and experience of the service. This has been invaluable to us and we will continue to evaluate and gather this feedback into the New Year. However, the feedback we have received so far, has shown us that there are already some changes that could be made to improve the service and so we want to act on this now and let you know that your comments, input, and experience of cancer services really does matter and will make a difference.

Patients have told us that the name of the service, gave them hope that a diagnosis would be made; regardless of whether that was cancer or not. In many cases, patients referred to the RDS have been through a number of diagnostic investigations that have ruled out cancer but have not been able to clearly diagnose the cause of their symptoms. Although the service can rule out cancer, it won’t be able to provide a diagnosis of other conditions but patients have told us this wasn’t always made clear.

It has therefore, been agreed that the name of this service will be changed to the Rapid Investigation Service (RIS). Further information about the RIS can be found on our ‘Cancer Services’ page and patients referred to the service will have access to information and a leaflet which clearly explains the purpose of the service giving clearer expectations from the start.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank the patients who have kindly taken the time to feedback and talk to us about their experience which made this change possible. We will continue to listen and we will continue to make improvements based on our patient feedback, wherever this is possible.

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