Your GP or ANP (Advanced Nurse Practitioner) will refer you to the RCDS team after you’ve been to see them. You will usually have had a physical examination and have had bloods taken in advance of your referral. It’s important that you let your GP/ANP know if you’re going to be unavailable over the following three weeks (for example, if you’re going on holiday) as your appointments with the RCDS will usually be made quickly.
What is the Rapid Cancer Diagnostic Centre programme?
Safe, effective care
Our aim is to provide you with safe effective care, given by the right people, at the right time in the right place.
Use the section below to help you find answers to some of the common practical questions that you may have. Simply click on the blue panel and it will expand to give more information on the relevant section.
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Getting here & maps
The RCDS is a telephone- and nurse-led service. If you require to have any investigations, such as a CT scan, with us, this will usually be either at the Queen Margaret Hospital in Dunfermline or the Victoria Hospital in Kirkcaldy. The RCDS team will discuss this with you.
How to find the Victoria Hospital, Kirkcaldy
How RCDS contacts you
The first thing to note is that you might find the way we do things at RCDS a little different from what you’re used to. We’ll usually contact you by phone and most of your journey with us will be done that way. The number that we call you on will be 01592 647198 but this can’t accept incoming calls. Once you’re fully on the RCDS pathway, you’ll be given a direct number for your Patient Navigator (PN).
Your time with the team will go quite quickly, usually with one-three days between each step. Your PN will usually be the first person you speak with and they’ll be your main point of contact for all things non-clinical while you’re under our care. Your PN will schedule telephone appointments with the (Advanced) Clinical Nurse Specialist (A)CNS)) for you. Keep in mind that these can happen within just a few days and that’s normal for us. Wherever possible, your PN will give you guidance about expected timeframes for each part of your journey.
Your (A)CNS will call you to hear about your symptoms in more detail. They’ll also ask you some lifestyle and social questions so we can make sure that we get the right treatment for you at the right time. Your (A)CNS will discuss with you what further investigations might be appropriate in your individual case.
Investigations and appointments
For most patients referred to the RCDS, a CT Scan will be their first line of investigation. Your PN will phone you with details of your scan appointment, how to prepare for your scan and can also discuss any other questions you may have. It’s ok to have questions and we want you to feel comfortable asking them so we know what matters to you. One approach that you might find helpful is to think of BRAN questions:
- What are the Benefits?
- What are the Risks?
- What are the Alternatives?
- What if I do Nothing?
In any of the calls you have with us, you can ask these types of questions or others that you may have. You can find some of our Frequently Asked Questions on our website.
If you need to use hospital transport, then our specialist team of ambulance drivers will make sure you get safely to and from your appointment. If you require help in attending your appointment, you can call the patient transport number on 0300 123 1236. Please make sure you let your (A)CNS or PN know if you intend to use hospital transport.
Your PN will phone you to arrange a results appointment with your (A)CNS. Keep in mind that this can happen anything from one-three days after your scan. There’s no need to feel unduly concerned about this as these are normal timeframes for RCDS. Results are given through various methods and your PN will discuss this with you.
Your (A)CNS will go over the results of the scan with you and let you know if any further tests or referrals are needed. Most of our patients are discharged back to the care of their GP, sometimes with additional advice or guidance. Some patients will have a ‘benign condition’ identified from their investigations. This is when cancer is not identified from the CT scan but they may need further tests or referred to another team in the hospital for care/investigation. The RCDS team will help to transition you to these teams as required. For a small number of our patients, cancer is identified from their scan. The RCDS team will look after you until your care transfers to the relevant speciality at the hospital. In all cases, we’ll make sure that you and your GP are kept informed.
If you require this information in a community language or alternative format e.g. Braille, audio, large print, BSL, Easy Read please contact the Equality and Human Rights Team at: email: fife.EqualityandHumanRights@nhs.scot or phone 01592 729130. For people with a hearing or verbal impairment you can also contact the team via the NHS Fife SMS text service number on 07805800005.
You can also find health related information on many topics in an Easy Read format on nhsinform.scot.