3 July 2019

We were delighted to contribute to the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Blood Cancer in parliament on promoting early diagnosis in blood cancers, and how well Rapid Diagnostic Centres (Multidisciplinary centres) are working for blood cancer.

The meeting, chaired by Nic Dakin MP (Labour, Scunthorpe), heard from speakers about how effective the centre pilots have been in providing early and effective diagnosis, some of the evaluation of the centres by Cancer Research UK, and how GPs can make the fullest use of these new centres to speed up blood cancer diagnoses.

A patient representative told his story, highlighting how the Rapid Diagnostic Centres had provided a ‘very thorough and very personal’ service which was better emotionally for him. Karen Fitzgerald, Service Innovation Programme Director, Cancer Research UK, spoke about how the centres had been working for patients with non-specific symptoms and how they help patients to navigate the system.

Professor Jo Martin, College President, spoke about the crucial role pathologists will play in Rapid Diagnostic Centres - 16 of our pathology disciplines will support the pathways, and how we need to ensure we continue to have these experts supporting patients.

Professor Martin said:

The College is proud to support Rapid Diagnostic Centres and we are working hard to ensure the centres have blood cancer firmly in mind. There is a huge breadth of expertise in the pathology workforce that supports blood cancer diagnosis. It takes an estimated 88 years of training and expertise across the pathology specialties to support the diagnosis of a lymphoma patient.