Since late 2021 in the world of colorectal and other cancers there has been a thing called the “Faster Diagnostic Standard (FDS)”.
This aims to reduce the time to 28 days from GP referral to specialist diagnosis for at least 75% of patients. It’s like the front end, or first stage, of a sequence of actions and events which NHS England calls a “pathway”. This period has to include: histological analysis, CT scan, blood tests and MDT discussion. You can read more about the FDS and its benefits from NHS England by clicking on the NHS England logo or just here.
But remember the target is to be met for “at least 75% of patients” – since it’s introduction FDS has never met the 75% target – so don’t hang out the flags yet! Thank goodness someone is looking at the results – and not just at the rhetoric.
Cancer Research UK has some figures. See here.
Patients will welcome changes to the old fashioned two-week wait target, which was solely concerned with getting a first appointment with a specialist within that period of time. Read more about this here.