Referral to hospital

Referral to hospital

When you are referred to the hospital we aim to see you in clinic or perform your first diagnostic test within 14 days. This means you will need to be available to attend, often at short notice. This can be on any hospital site depending on the investigations being carried out and which cancer pathway you are on. Information about the hospital shuttle service can be found in the patients and visitors section of the website. 

If you need further information about any diagnostic tests you can speak to your cancer team or visit the Macmillan website for more detail.

Cancer navigators

Following referral to hospital you may be contacted by a cancer navigator. They are individuals who are trained to support patients through the diagnostic tests required to rule out or diagnose cancer.

They will help resolve real or perceived barriers to care and enable patients to follow recommended pathways in a timely way.

  • Colorectal navigator - 01924 546195
  • ENT, Oral and Maxillofacial Cancer navigator - 01924 543548
  • Lung navigator - 01924 543820 or 07873 704680
  • Upper Gastrointestinal navigator - 01977 747498

Cancer waiting times

The operational standards for cancer waiting times were developed initially with the introduction of the Cancer Plan in 2000, These standards are reviewed annually by NHS England and a new version of cancer waiting times is published every one to you years. The most recent version is Cancer Waiting Times Standards version 11.

The initial focus of these standards is to ensure patients are seen, diagnosed and treated against a series of timescales.

The required standards for cancer waiting times are:

  • A maximum wait of two weeks to see a specialist after being urgently referred with suspected cancer by any healthcare professional.
  • A maximum wait of two weeks to see a specialist after being referred urgently with symptoms, where cancer is not initially suspected.
  • A maximum wait of 28 days to be informed if a patient has or doesn’t have a cancer diagnosis.
  • A maximum wait of 31 days for any cancer treatment following consent (this includes surgery, anti-cancer drug regimens and radiotherapy).
  • A maximum wait of 62 days for first treatment for those patients referred on an urgent suspected cancer pathway or from an NHS cancer screening service.
  • A maximum wait of 62 days for first treatment for patients who were seen as routinely but were then upgraded to an urgent suspected cancer pathway by the clinician who saw them.

The Cancer Services team at Mid Yorkshire is responsible for tracking all patients who fall into the above cohorts in line with the most recent version of cancer waiting times. Mid Yorkshire Teaching NHS Trust are required to report this information to a national team, this ensures we are continually working towards achieving the standards on a consistent basis.

Non-site specific pathway

A rapid diagnostic pathway for patients with non-specific symptoms

Your GP has invited you to be investigated by the non-site specific two-week wait pathway (NSS).

For a rapid diagnosis it is important that you make yourself available for all appointments. Please take time to read all the patient information carefully. Should you require any further information, please feel free to contact the team using the details provided.

What is the purpose of the NSS pathway?

Many patients visit their GP with vague or general symptoms such as weight loss and tiredness. These symptoms are called 'non-specific' as they affect the whole person. Often the cause of these symptoms remains unclear after your GP has assessed you. These ‘non-specific’ symptoms may sometimes be caused by a serious disease, such as cancer, but the risk of this is very low. There could be a number of reasons for these symptoms and although the risk of serious disease is low, there are some patients for whom early tests could help make a diagnosis quicker and treatment started sooner.

This pathway is designed to give GPs a quick and efficient way to access this full group of tests for patients with 'non-specific' symptoms. Patients of the Mid Yorkshire Teaching NHS Trust will have an appointment booked to be seen by our Advanced Clinical Practitioner (ACP) and either have a telephone appointment or a face-to-face clinic appointment. You may need to attend for further investigations, such as a Computed Tomography (CT) scan or other diagnostic tests.

What will I have to do when on this pathway?

When you and your GP decide to refer using the NSS pathway, you should expect to be contacted by our NSS MDT (multi-disciplinary team) Coordinator or the Fast Track Team for an appointment.

Your GP will send the hospital team detailed information about your clinical problem - your symptoms, examination findings, medical history and any recent test results. Our NSS MDT Coordinator or Fast Track Team will ring you for either a telephone or face-to-face appointment with our Advanced Clinical Practitioner (ACP).

The MDT Coordinator will talk you through your appointment and answer any questions you may have. Your appointment will be booked within two weeks of referral by your GP. Please ensure you can be available for these appointments.

If you have not received an appointment within seven days of your GP referral or if you need to change your appointment date/time, please call the Fast Track Booking Team on 01924 541223.


Your consultation will include a full history taking and detailed history of your health. This will take approximately 30-45 minutes. If required, you may be sent for any of the following: a CT scan, Gastroscopy, Colonoscopy or a further blood test. Any follow up appointments will be scheduled following consultation.

Your CT scan will be at the Radiology department on any of the three sites – Pinderfields, Pontefract or Dewsbury. A member of the Radiology/Endoscopy booking team will contact you to book an appointment and provide further instructions prior to your investigation.

How will I be informed of the investigation outcome?

You will be informed by our ACP of one of the following:

  • You are being discharged back to your GP.
  • You need to attend further investigations.
  • You are being referred to other services.

Patient experience feedback

We may ask you to complete a questionnaire about your experiences of the non-site specific pathway to help with planning of future services for patients.