Referral to hospital

King's arch with Golden Jubilee Wing in background

This page is about what to expect if you have been referred to King’s College Hospital because your GP thinks you may have cancer.

You will have an appointment with a specialist within two weeks of being referred. For a lot of people we see, tests show that their symptoms are caused by something other than cancer. But it is important to get checked out as soon as possible.

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.