Since 2019, new services have been rolled out across England to provide a dedicated urgent diagnostic pathway for this cohort of patients. The development of new NSS pathways and the optimisation of those that have already been established since 2019, remains a key priority. Cancer Alliances are working towards achieving 100% population coverage for patients with non-specific symptoms of cancer by March 2024.
Core referral criteria for NSS pathways have been outlined and can be viewed here. Cancer Alliances should note that there should be no maximum age cut off for patients to be referred onto NSS pathways. Any adult referred to NSS pathways should be triaged, investigated and safety-netted, regardless of age.
Core filter function tests for NSS pathways have been outlined here. Cancer Alliances should work with primary care to ensure that filter function tests are consistently performed and that referral forms include all the relevant information on patient symptoms and tests results for NSS pathways.