Photograph of Susan Oliver, Pseudomyxoma SurvivorAs part of our continuing relationship with Cancer52, we have been able to make a submission on the consultation for the NHS Standard Contract towards the Faster Diagnosis Standard.

I have submitted the following on behalf of Pseudomyxoma Survivor:

Pseudomyxoma Survivor welcomes the introduction of the Faster Diagnosis Standard (https://www.england.nhs.uk/cancer/early-diagnosis/). The new Faster Diagnosis Standard will ensure that all patients who are referred urgently for the investigation of suspected cancer by their GP or a screening programme find out, within 28 days, if they do or do not have a cancer diagnosis. This standard will be introduced in April 2020.

Pseudomyxoma Survivor believes this new standard can help to ensure that those with rare and less common cancers receive a diagnosis more quickly. Many people with rare and less common cancers face lengthy delays in diagnosis, potentially impacting their chances of successful treatment. Therefore, Pseudomyxoma Survivor would like to see the initial threshold set at the highest limit (85%) in order to stretch services and to accelerate progress.

In addition, Pseudomyxoma Survivor would be keen to understand whether the Faster Diagnosis Standard will include referral by GPs for primary care tests undertaken to rule out cancer that occurs before further referral onto secondary care, such as blood tests for ovarian and blood cancers. For some rare and less common cancers failing to include such primary care tests would mean that the new standard has little impact on speeding up diagnosis as this is where delays in the system can occur. The recommendation to establish this new standard made in the 2015 Cancer Strategy appeared to intend such testing to be included.

Recommendation 24 stated that ‘Patients referred for testing by a GP, because of symptoms or clinical judgement, should either be definitively diagnosed with cancer or cancer excluded and this result should be communicated to the patient within four weeks’.

Susan Oliver
Chair of Pseudomyxoma Survivor