The Rapid Diagnostic Centre (RDC) is a service designed to help doctors and patients with vague (or non-site-specific symptoms) achieve early or faster diagnosis of cancer and other serious conditions.  

Rapid Diagnostic Clinics are now situated at Guy’s Hospital (Southwark), Princess Royal University Hospital (Orpington) and Queen Elizabeth Hospital (Woolwich). To date the RDC clinics have seen over 5500 patients.

Patients with symptoms such as unexplained weight loss, fatigue and pain can be referred to a Rapid Diagnostic Clinic (RDC). 

Prior to the introduction of the RDC, patients may have been referred to numerous specialists before reaching a diagnosis. The RDC has now given GPs an accessible route for investigation of patients with vague and unexplained symptoms and lead to earlier diagnosis.

The RDC service is available to all boroughs in south east London and has bases at Guy’s Hospital, Princess Royal University Hospital and Queen Elizabeth Hospital. 

Further information on the referral criteria and how GPs can refer patients can be found here

  Referral Forms on DXS

1. All suspected cancer referral forms can be found on the SEL 2WW Cancer Landing page. For RDC/NSS referrals select ‘Rapid Diagnostic Clinic/Non-Specific Symptom.’

2. The forms can also be found in the folder directory on the left-hand side by clicking on Cancer and select ‘Rapid Diagnostics 2WW.’ All of the required documents will appear.

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3. You can also use search using keywords. Keywords for these documents would include any of the following: Rapid; Access; 2WW; Cancer; Diagnostic.

4. To add the documents to your favourites, select the document, click on the star and select add. (You can choose any name for the favourite, but it is recommended to keep it as it is).

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5. If you want to remove it from your favourites, just click on the document, go to the star, click remove.


  Referral Forms on the Referrals Optimisation Protocol (ROP) – Bromley Practices

1. All suspected cancer referral forms including the Rapid Diagnostic Clinic referral forms can be accessed via the Referrals Optimisation Protocol: Cancer / 2 Week Wait – Referrals – Rapid Access Diagnostic Clinic Referral Form (non-specific Ca symptoms). 

2. Patients should be provided with the Two Week Wait Patient Leaflet; you will be automatically prompted to print this when you access the referral form. 

3. You should follow your local cancer safety netting process.


Finding the Clinics on eRS

1. Under the Directory of Services, in ‘specialty’ select ‘2WW’, and ‘clinic type’ select ‘2WW Non-specific symptoms’ & click ‘search’ to bring up all available clinics. Clinics will be ordered by distance nearest to patient’s postcode.

2. There are 3 Rapid Access Diagnostic/Non-Specific Symptom Clinics in SEL, at Guy’s Hospital, Queen Elizabeth Hospital Woolwich, and Princess Royal University Hospital (see below)

3. We do not recommend using the ‘Clinical Term’ search function as these clinics cannot be found by searching for the clinic name. In fact, searching ‘rapid access’ will return the clinical term for ‘rapid access chest pain clinic’ which these patients should not be referred to for suspected cancer.


The Centre sees a cancer conversion rate of 8% with an average time to diagnosis of 21 days. Initial analysis finds that 40% of cancers are diagnosed at the earlier stages one or two. 

The RDC has detected serious non-cancerous disease in 30% of referrals.

The RDC also offers a comprehensive holistic assessment which incorporates both physical and mental health aspects.

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