Early Diagnosis

The NHS Long Term Plan set out the national ambition that 55,000 more people will survive for 5 years or more by 2028 following their cancer diagnosis.

Please see below the work that the Alliance is doing to help to  improve screening programmes,  faster access to diagnostic tests, and to ensure patients  can quickly benefit from precise, highly personalised treatments as medical science advances.

The Rapid Diagnostic Service

The Rapid Diagnostic Service Programme is funded over 5 years and designed to speed up cancer diagnosis across every pathway and support our ambitions to achieve earlier diagnosis, with improved patient experience, for all patients with cancer symptoms or suspicious results.


The SWAG Cancer Alliance is committed to increasing uptake of the cancer screening programme across the region

Cancer Waiting Times 

The SWAG Cancer Alliance is funding sustainable changes to pathways in order to support meeting cancer waiting times standard. There are a number of standards which measure NHS performance in the quality and timely delivery of cancer care, for further information please click below.

Best Practice Pathways (BPTP's)

Best practice timed pathways support the ongoing improvement effort to shorten diagnosis pathways, reduce variation, improve patient experience of care, and meet the Faster Diagnosis Standard (FDS). The guidance is intended for NHS organisations and their staff to adopt consistent, system-wide approaches to managing cancer diagnosis pathways and sets out how cancer diagnosis within 28 days can be achieved.

Delivery and implementation of optimal timed pathways will improve times to treatment, and reduce variation across the alliance. Please follow the below link for guidance on how to achieve diagnosis within 14 days and diagnosis within 28 days for colorectal, lung and prostate cancer pathways.

Prostate Pathway

Following the Promise Trial we have made some major changes to our prostate cancer pathway across the South West. Professor Raj Persad talks about these changes and the benefits of targeting more specific areas earlier on in the pathway.

NICE has published the latest impact report highlighting substantial improvements in the diagnosis and treatment of prostate cancer over the last 20 years.

Genomic Testing

The SWAG Cancer Alliance is working with the South West Genomics Laboratory to help to embed Genomics into patient care pathways.