Your General Practitioner (GP) or Dentist has asked for you to have an urgent hospital appointment within two weeks. The 'two week' appointment system was introduced so that a specialist would see any patient with symptoms that might indicate cancer as quickly as possible.
No it doesn't. The majority of patients referred under the two week appointment system do not have cancer, but it is important to see a specialist as soon as possible to confirm or exclude a cancer diagnosis. Early diagnosis and early treatment is shown to improve health outcomes if it is cancer.
GPs diagnose and treat many illnesses themselves. However, on occassion they need to arrange for you to see a specialist doctor at a hospital. This could be for a number of reasons, such as:
Symptoms such as:
You may require extra tests; these may take place either before, during or following your first appointment at the hospital. This will help the specialist to understand the cause of your symptoms. The hospital might phone you to arrange extra test if needed.
If you are not contacted by the hospital within three working days of your referral please let your GP know immediately so that they can make sure that your appointment is being correctly processed.
The CCG, in conjunction with Ipswich Hospital, has produced a leaflet with information about the two week wait referral system.
Read more about Cancer and waiting times on the NHS Choices website.