Referral to hospital

King's arch with Golden Jubilee Wing in background

Your GP has referred you to King’s College Hospital because they think you might have cancer. We guarantee that you will have an appointment with one of our specialists within two weeks of being referred.

In many cases, your symptoms will be caused by a condition that is not cancer. But it is still important to get checked out as soon as possible.

If your GP has referred you but you have not yet received your appointment, contact King’s Cancer Helpline, tel: +44 (0)20 3299 5228. This is open 8.30am to 4.30pm, Monday to Friday.

There is a different referrals process for children and young people. If they are referred here, they will be cared for at the Variety Children's Hospital @ King's.

What happens at my first appointment?

Most patients are seen first in an outpatient clinic by a physician or a surgeon. You may also meet your key worker, who is usually the clinical nurse specialist (CNS) for your type of cancer.

These clinics can be very busy and you may have to wait for your appointment. The consultation itself can last between 45 minutes and 2 hours.

You may have some tests and scans on the same day. At your consultation, your symptoms and possible treatments will be discussed with you and you will be given some information to take home to read.

You can find out more about your cancer type, and what happens during appointments, who is involved in your care, who you can speak to, and the investigations and treatments you may have.

Preparing for your appointment

What to bring to your appointment

  • Your appointment letter.
  • A list of medications you are taking, including medicines you have been prescribed by your doctor or other specialist together with any alternative or herbal remedies and anything you have bought over the counter
  • A relative or friend to support you and who will be able to help you understand and remember all the information we give you.
  • A written list of questions you would like to ask.

What to wear

  • You may need an examination, so we advise women to wear something simple to slip off, such as trousers or a skirt, rather than a dress
  • A member of staff of the same sex will remain with you if you need an intimate examination.