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Rapid testing clinic opens at Guy's Hospital

A new service has been developed for GPs to fast track patients for thorough checks if cancer is suspected but their symptoms require further investigation before referral to a specialist.

The medical clinic at Guy's Hospital provides quick access to a range of tests including blood tests, CT scans and endoscopy. Patients will be seen within seven days of referral from the GP. 

The Rapid access diagnostic clinic is being trialled across Lambeth and Southwark, and is based on a scheme developed in Denmark.

Dr Raj Mitra, GP at Lambeth Walk Group Practice and a member of the NHS Lambeth ​CCG Governing Body, was the first to refer a patient.

Dr Mitra said: "A patient came to see me who fitted the rapid access criteria so I referred them and they were seen within seven days.  Some of the investigations were done on the same day of the appointment. We hope to get a diagnosis soon, which is good for patients.

"For me as a GP you often know something's wrong but you're not sure exactly what. We've always wanted a service like this, that can investigate for you quickly and pinpoint exactly what the problem is."

Dr Luigi DeMichele, Consultant at Guy's and St Thomas', said: 

"Our new clinic will make things easier for GPs and quicker for patients.

"It is normally clear when a patient has certain symptoms where their GP should refer them to but things are not always that simple.

"This service will avoid delays in diagnosing patients when the symptoms are less specific because currently identifying the best route for investigating or referring them can be a challenge."

Once a diagnosis is confirmed, the patient will be referred on to the appropriate specialist team or discharged back to their GP.​