Urgent suspected cancer referrals

Patient Information for Urgent Suspected Cancer Referrals during COVID-19

This information sheet explains why your GP has referred you to hospital, what it means and what you need to do

Does this mean I have cancer?

There are many common conditions your symptoms could be linked to and cancer is one of the possibilities. Most people who have an urgent suspected cancer referral do not have cancer, but it is important to rule it out.

Why have I been referred urgently to hospital?

You have been referred to hospital because your GP feels your symptoms may suggest cancer. To rule this out you have been referred to a specialist for further investigation.

Ensure you tell your GP:

• Your correct email and home address and telephone number including a mobile number if you have one, so that the hospital can contact you.

• If you have not heard from the hospital within two weeks.


Due to the coronavirus outbreak and hospitals recovering their services, a cancer specialist will decide whether you need to come in for a diagnostic test or whether you should have a telephone assessment. We want to assure you that hospitals have a range of measures in place to help protect you from coronavirus including social distancing, additional infection control procedures, and clinical staff will be wearing personal protective equipment such as face masks. Hospitals are only asking patients to visit if it is necessary, and there may be a slight delay in receiving an appointment. If you are asked to visit the hospital for appointments, it is important that you attend. If, for any reason, you are unable to go to your appointment please contact the hospital as soon as possible.

If you are required to visit the hospital and you or a member of your household are self-isolating, you must contact the hospital prior to attending your appointment on the number issued to you by the hospital you plan to attend. They will then provide you with guidance. It is important to follow the advice given to you by the hospital.