The two-week-wait pan-London urgent suspected referral forms were updated in 2021 to include an option urgent haemato-oncology advice & guidance (within 2 working days). This includes patients with abnormal results not meeting the criteria for 2WW referral about who the referring GP has a particular clinical concern. This is the first urgent suspected cancer pathway to include this type of embedded advice and guidance.
An advice and guidance process allows a clinician to seek advice from another. It is a communication between two clinicians: the “requesting” clinician (referrer) and the provider of a service (the “responding” clinician). These services are becoming more widely available across the NHS as either an embedded ERS process or via other local on-demand services (e.g. Consultant Connect). The new advice and guidance process within the urgent suspected cancer referral process will align with guidance being developed across the NHS.
Embedding advice and guidance in this way within the two-week-wait Pan-London forms for urgent suspected cancer referrals can support GPs with cancer referrals where there is clinical concern but they may not meet all the referral criteria or there is uncertainty about whether a referral is appropriate. The TCST Early Diagnosis team hope that including advice and guidance can improve the quality of cancer referrals over time and reduce pressures on diagnostic teams by avoiding inappropriate referrals.
You can find out more about the NHS work on Advice and Guidance nationally here.