RAPID Programme

The RAPID Programme stands for ‘Rapid Access to Pulmonary Investigation Days’. It is a new project launched by the MFT lung cancer team to dramatically reduce the time taken to complete investigations in patients where there is any suspicion of lung cancer.

Our aim is to ensure all patients have a clear diagnosis, whether that is lung cancer or not, within 7 days of referral.

Who is the RAPID programme for?

The RAPID programme is for any patient where lung cancer is a possible explanation for symptoms or for an abnormality found on chest X-ray or CT scan. We will also offer a second opinion at your GPs request for any patient undergoing similar investigations where there may be doubt over the diagnosis or management plan.

How do patients access the RAPID programme?

There are a number of ways a patient may be referred to the RAPID Programme:

  • A GP may refer to the programme after making an assessment of a patient where any suspicion of lung cancer is raised
  • The RAPID team may be alerted to an abnormal finding on a Chest X-ray or CT scan by the radiology department and make arrangements for that patient to immediately enter the RAPID programme
  • A hospital doctor may refer to the RAPID programme following an assessment of a patient where any suspicion of lung cancer is raised or a Chest X-ray/CT scan has raised ANY suspicion of lung cancer
  • Any patient can specifically seek a GP referral to the RAPID programme (e.g for a second opinion)

What happens if I am referred to the RAPID team?

For most patients, the first step is to have a CT scan. This gives the most detailed pictures of the lungs and is the starting point to diagnose the problem. You will be contacted by our CT department with a date and time for your scan (usually within 24 hours of the referral). This is likely to be early in the morning between 8am-9am. One of our RAPID team nurses will greet you on arrival to the CT department.

The results of the CT scan will be available by mid-morning on the same day as your scan. One of the RAPID team will then immediately contact you and let you know the next steps. If you have already had a CT scan by the time of your referral to the RAPID team you will be contacted the same morning as we receive the referral and let you know the next steps.

There are a number of possible outcomes from the phone call with the RAPID team:

  • We may have enough information from your CT scan to reassure you there is nothing to worry about and discharge you back to your GP
  • Sometimes there may be symptoms that need to be reviewed by a chest doctor, not a lung cancer specialist, and we will arrange this
  • Further tests may be needed and we will inform you when you will see the Specialist. This will often be the same day as the CT scan

Sometimes a number of tests are needed in a short period of time and it can be a very busy few days for some patients. You will be given written information, a diary to keep track of your appointments and contact numbers for the RAPID team. We aim to commence treatment for those patients diagnosed with lung cancer within 14 days.

Who are the RAPID team?

Chest Physicians

Dr Richard Booton
Dr Matthew Evison
Dr Philip Crosbie

Our physicians are supported by our specialist nursing and administration teams.

Contacts

Lead nurse: 0161 291 2198
Administration team: 0161 291 2116