Scotland’s first Rapid Cancer Diagnostic Services were established in 2021.
There are now 5 in NHS Fife, NHS Dumfries & Galloway and NHS Ayrshire & Arran, NHS Lanarkshire and NHS Borders.
Rapid Cancer Diagnostic Services provide primary care with a new fast-track diagnostic pathway for patients with non-specific symptoms (such as fatigue, nausea and weight loss) that do not meet existing Scottish Referral Guidelines for Suspected Cancer.
The CfSD Cancer Improvement and Earlier Diagnosis Team is working towards establishing equitable access to Rapid Cancer Diagnostic Services across NHS Scotland in line with the Scottish Government’s Programme for Government and Cancer Strategy Action Plan commitments.
Work continues with wider UK counterparts to ensure all learning is shared across the nations who are embedding similar models of care to detect cancer faster.
The University of Strathclyde was commissioned to evaluate the Rapid Cancer Diagnostic Services to better understand their role in detecting cancer and to ensure optimal components are embedded in future models.
An interim report was published in November 2021. The Final Report of the Evaluation of Rapid Cancer Diagnostic Services was published in February 2024 on the University of Strathclyde website.
A summary of the evaluation report focusing on the high-level findings and optimal components of the Rapid Cancer Diagnostic Services is published here.
The Rapid Cancer Diagnostic Services have attracted attention at a number of national events and conferences. Some resources from these can be found below.