The EoE Cancer Alliance are supporting the implementation of the Faster Diagnosis Standards (FDS) performance for cancer to ensure patients who are referred for suspected cancer have a timely diagnosis.

The standard will ensure patients will be diagnosed or have cancer ruled out within 28 days of being referred for suspected cancer. For patients who are diagnosed with cancer, it means their treatment can begin as soon as possible. For those who are not, they can have their minds put at rest more quickly.


The Faster Diagnosis Programme aims to deliver:

  • An earlier and faster diagnosis for patients, whether or not they are ultimately diagnosed with cancer.
  • Excellent patient experience; a holistic assessment of patient needs and streamlined care.
  • Increased capacity in the system through more efficient diagnostic pathways.

The faster diagnosis programme covers:

  1. The development of Non-Specific Symptom pathways (NSS)
  2. Improving existing pathways in line with the published Best Practice Timed Pathway (BPTP) guidance.


Guidance has been published by NHS England on how diagnosis within 28-days can be achieved for the suspected cancer pathway, this is available on the national guidance page - NHS England » Rapid cancer diagnostic and assessment pathways .

EoE Cancer Alliance Projects

We are working across multiple programmes to deliver the Faster Diagnosis Standard (FDS) through workstreams such as NSS, BPTP, core pathway improvements, local pathway innovations, diagnostic capacity.

  • Development of data and dashboards to better understand patients pathways
  • System level approach to recovery of cancer services
  • Sharing best practice exemplars across the region
  • Linking with diagnostic

Project Vision:

Increase our Faster Diagnosis (FD) performance for cancer in the East of England.

This will:

  • Shorten patient waiting times,
  • Reduce unwarranted variation
  • Increase early diagnosis, and
  • Improve experience of care and outcomes for our patients.


Faster Diagnosis Project Aims:

  1. Deliver 75% FDS performance: By March 2024
  2. Roll out ICB exemplar pathways or approaches rapidly with action teams
  3. Minimise unacceptable and unwarranted variation


Process and outcomes:

FDS Process and Outcomes.png


Phase one:

Groups of clinical, operational and strategic subject matter experts in the cancer field were established to form Rapid Cancer Action Teams (RACTs) to support 3 speciality pathways:

Gynaecology, Lower Gastro-Intestinal (LGI) and Skin



The RCATs co-led by the East of the England Cancer Alliances and ICBs with primary and secondary care leads conducted pathway mapping exercises and identified key lines of enquiries/issues to delivery.  Workshops were delivered for each pathway showcasing areas of best practice to support trusts with implementation to improve performance.



  • Cross cutting themes were identified during phase one
  • FD improvements related to the Skin, Gynaecology and Lower Gastro-Intestinal (LGI) targeted pathways

We have developed a suite of products and centralised good practice materials as part of this project – all available to East of England NHS colleagues working in cancer services on our FutureNHS Collaboration Platform Workspace available at this link:


FD Focus Project Phase one resource for healthcare professionals:

RCAT Futures - Workshop Report Data and Insights and Good Practice Packs are available on the Futures workspace and can be accessed using the links below:


Gynae RCAT Pathway Resources
With thanks to Co-Leads:
ICB: Emma Saunders and Claire Corbett
CA: Victoria Doyle and Zoe Chaudhry
Skin RCAT Pathway Resources
With thanks to Co-Leads:
ICB: Kathy Nelson and Helen Watt
CA: Kate Jackman and Sue Pilcher
Lower GI RCAT Pathway Resources
With thanks to Co-Leads:
ICB: Fergus Browne
CA: Bernadette Roach and Emma Grimes





Skin cancer is the most common cancer in England [1]. In 2019/20 there were 3 million outpatient appointments in dermatology in England in the year to April 2022 and dermatology services receive more urgent referrals for suspected cancer than any other speciality [2].

During 2022/23, Eastern AHSN (Academic Health Science Network) were commissioned to carry out an independent review of how teledermatology platforms have been implemented and used in the East of England to date. An independent baseline review was also conducted with Integrated Care Systems.


What is Teledermatology?

Teledermatology refers to the use of static digital images to triage, diagnose, monitor or assess skin conditions without the patient being physically present, to exchange medical information. Teledermatology services cross-systems can support service transformation, elective recovery, access to high quality care and reduce waiting times.


Project aim

To collate information on the various teledermatology platforms, technologies and service models in place in order to support considerations for planning, development and commissioning of teledermatology services in the East of England.


Project output

Our collaboration with the East of England Cancer Alliances produced a review of teledermatology pathways in the East of England, including considerations for planning and commissioning. The reviews findings consider improvements of system efficiencies and cost effectiveness. It also offers a series of recommendations around staff experience, patient experience, health outcomes and health inequalities.


Read the project’s summary report

June 2023 – a review of teledermatology pathways in the East of England: considerations for planning and commissioning 


Teledermatology infographic

The infographic linked in this section provides considerations for the planning and commissioning of teledermatology platforms in the East of England. The infographic should be read in conjunction with the project summary report (linked above).

Telederm Infographic



[1]  Skin Cancer Hub (ncin.org.uk)

[2]  NHS Teledermatology Roadmap – outpatient recovery and transformation platform. June 2023 [accessed 3 July 2023]


NHS England teledermatology roadmap

Access NHS England’s updated teledermatology roadmap:

NHS England - updated Teledermatology Roadmap (Version 2) - June 2023


Further information

For more information please contact england.eoecancerallianceteam@nhs.net

FDS posters

FDS posters are provided below and are available to download by clicking on the image, or here at North and South

FDS poster (North)