The 2-Week Wait Head & Neck Cancer Referrals: Is this System Working?

Rate this item
(2 votes)


Introduction: The UK uses primary care physicians as “gatekeepers” to specialist services. In 2000 a referral pathway was implemented for patients with suspected Head & Neck cancer ensuring assessment by a specialist within 2-weeks of referral. Our aim was to assess the cancer detection rate for 2-week wait referrals and determine whether a one-stop clinic would be an appropriate use of resources in a 2-week wait referral clinic. Materials and Methods: A retrospective audit of all 2-week referrals from July 2009 to July 2010.


Results: Total 2-week-wait referrals = 622. Confirmed malignancy = 35. 181 patients underwent imaging, of which 76 had an ultrasound, 40 of these were ultrasound guided Fine Needle Aspiration Cytology.

Conclusion: The limited need for FNAC and ultrasound scans suggests that there is unlikely to be any significant benefit in implementing a one-stop clinic. A specific suspected cancer referral pathway in our unit has not resulted in a dramatic improvement in cancer diagnosis rates.

Additional Info

  • Authors: LS Prichard, IJ Whitehead & R Moorthy, P Pracy
  • Keywords: Head and Neck cancer, Referral and consultation, Outpatient clinic.
Read 21955 times Last modified on Thursday, 14 May 2020 12:21

Leave a comment

Make sure you enter the (*) required information where indicated. HTML code is not allowed.


Member Login

          Forgot login? | Register

BBC News Feed

Get in touch

+44 207 637 3544

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The Otorhinolaryngologist,
73 Newman Street, London
W1T 3EJ, 


Rila Publications Ltd Ethics Policy