Rapid Diagnostic Centre (RDC)

The commitment to roll out Rapid Diagnostic Centres (RDCs), outlined in the 2019 NHS Long Term Plan is part of a wider strategy to deliver faster and earlier diagnosis and improved patient experience. The North East London Cancer Alliance, established in April 2020 will be running a programme of work to implement and expand RDCs throughout North East London over the next four years.

RDCs will offer a single point of access to a diagnostic pathway for all patients with symptoms that could indicate cancer. RDCs will also provide a personalised, accurate and rapid diagnosis of patients’ symptoms by integrating existing diagnostic provision and utilising networked clinical expertise and information locally.

RDCs help to ensure diagnostic capacity is used most effectively, and support the health and care system in its recovery from the COVID19 pandemic.  Specifically RDCs will support the reduction in endoscopy demand by providing a thorough clinical review to determine if the underlying diagnosis is cancer and if not what is the cause of the patient’s symptoms.

The national RDC programme has asked each cancer alliance to ‘set up one RDC pathway for non-specific symptoms, and apply RDC principles to one site-specific symptom pathway’ in 2020-2021.

The North East London RDC programme for 2020-2021 expands on this with an aim to:

  1. Expand the Barts Health RDC service that opened in July 2019. That is currently delivering a non-site specific pathway.
  2. Open an additional RDC service at BHRUT for patients with non-site specific symptoms. 
  3. Develop and implement a colorectal RDC pathway for patients referred with a FIT test of less than 10 (a stool test designed to identify possible signs of bowel disease)

 For more information please read 'Rapid Diagnostic Centres; Vision and 2019/20 Implementation Specification'

Updated: 02/03/2021