Understanding 2 week wait referrals and COVID-19

Why Do I Need a Two Week Wait Urgent Referral? 

Your doctor has referred you for a specialist opinion as your symptoms might be due to cancer. Even in the current circumstances, it is important that we continue as far as possible to provide our usual services for cancer so you should not be afraid of attending the hospital if needed to see a specialist or for tests. However, we are trying to keep any hospital visits to a minimum, so we have changed the way we usually run our two week wait referral services.

All the information relevant to your symptoms will be included in the referral from your doctor or nurse sends. This may have included sending you for blood tests or a scan already.  This information will be considered very carefully by a specialist – a process called “triage”.

The hospital team will contact you after your referral has been considered to discuss the next best steps to investigate your symptoms. This may mean arranging an investigation, seeing you in an appointment or talking to you on the telephone. For some patients it may be felt safer to wait until after the pandemic is controlled before having any further investigations.

Careful consideration will be given to the decision for the best next steps for you by the hospital teams, both about your level of risk of having cancer as well as the need for speed of treatment. Some skin cancers, for example, need urgent treatment, while others can safely be left for several months.

If you have not heard from the hospital within FIVE working days then please contact them to check on the progress of your referral.

Contact DetailsReferred to
North Bristol Trust: Southmead Hospital 2WW fast track team on 0117 414 0538   
University Hospitals Bristol and Weston: Bristol sites Referrals for skin lesions:  0117 342 3277. All other referrals: 0117 342 7641, 0117 342 7642, 0117 342 7643, 0117 342 7644. If you reach an answer phone please leave a short message with your name, date of birth and telephone number. 
University Hospitals Bristol and Weston: Weston General Hospital  Contact your GP who will liaise with the hospital 

You may want to ask these questions when you speak to the specialist

  • Will I need any tests? lf I do, what tests will I need?
  • Will I need to stay in hospital? Should someone come with me to the tests?
  • When will I find out the results of the tests? Who will let me know the results?
  • What will happen next?

We appreciate that this is a worrying time for you so if you have any concerns please do speak to your GP or Practice Nurse for support.