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Haematology - USC (2WW)

Checked: 23-11-2022 by 3 Vicky Ryan Next Review: 23-11-2023

Service Overview

This service is provided by UHBW at Bristol Haematology and Oncology Centre and at Weston General Hospital and by NBT at Southmead Hospital.

At time of referral please issue the BNSSG Understanding Your Urgent Fast Track Referral patient information leaflet.


Patients should be referred to this service only if they meet the Haematological Cancer 2WW wait criteria as per the NICE CKS Guidance (1)

Patients should be referred using the Suspected Haematological Cancer Referral Form (word doc).


Referrals to NBT

Please note: This service is moving to a RAS at NBT from 21/11/22. Therefore, you need to select 'send for triage' in eRS rather than selecting a date and time for dummy appointment.

There are also Local Haematology Guidelines written by UHBW consultants  available in the Haematology section of Remedy and the Haematology Advice and Guidance service run by UHBW and NBT which is available via e-referral.

For Children with suspected Haematological Cancers please refer to the Child and Young People section.



If advised to refer into an MDT, then please submit a 2WW referral to the relevant secondary care team who will ensure that all the required information is available to enable an effective MDT discussion. 

(1)NICE CKS guidelines: Haematological cancers - recognition and referral


Clinical Guidance

Please also see the following guidelines:


Acute Leukaemia

 Acute leukaemia may present with the following:

  • breathlessness 
  • unexpected bruising/petechiae/bleeding
  • recurrent infections 
  • pain in joints or extremities – may be the only presenting symptom in children 
  • fatigue
  • headaches 
  • visual disturbances
  • persistent bone pain
  • bone fractures 


Initial investigations:

  • full blood count (FBC):
    • in acute leukaemia this will typically show a raised white cell count with low haemoglobin and platelets
  • blood film:
    • usually shows the presence of excess blasts
    • however, in some cases clearly identifiable blasts may not be present, or the white blood cell (WBC) count may even be lower than normal – the only abnormal sign in these cases may be a few atypical cells in the blood film or the presence of leukoerythroblastic features 


If a blood film suggests an acute leukaemia please arrange an immediate admission with a haematologist.

Please note that Chronic Lymphocytic Leukaemia (CLL) is not an indication for a 2 week wait referral. See the Lymphocytosis section of the Haematology guidelines in primary care for further information.



Investigation of patients with unexplained lymphadenopathy should include:

  • FBC
  • U+Es
  • LFTs
  • LDH (Lactate Dehydrogenase)


Hodgkin's & Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma - 2WW referrals. Refer if:

  • Unexplained lymphadenopathy - is defined as >1cm and persisting for six weeks (Please note that patients with isolated neck lumps should be referred to the head and neck service)
  • Unexplained palpable splenomegaly
  • Unexplained radiological splenomegaly plus symptoms or signs


When considering referral, take into account any associated symptoms, particularly unexplained high fever, drenching night sweats (with or without weight loss), shortness of breath, pruritus or alcohol-induced lymph node pain.

Please also see the Lymphadenopathy section of the Haematology guidelines in primary care page for further information.


Symptoms which should trigger consideration of myeloma include:

  • bone disease (common):
    • bone pain especially non-lumbar back pain (e.g. thoracic)
    • pathological fracture or low impact fracture
    • spinal cord compression
  • recurrent or persistent bacterial infection (common)


A myeloma screen includes:

  • Full blood count
  • renal function
  • calcium
  • serum protein electrophoresis & urinary BJP (these must be requested together for screening)


Myeloma is unlikely with a IgG <15g/l or IgA<10g/l in the absence of other symptoms (e.g. renal failure, hypercalcaemia, back pain, bone marrow failure), in which case consider a routine referral

Spinal cord compression or acute kidney injury suspected of being caused by myeloma should be discussed more urgently with on call haematologist

A polyclonal (diffuse) increase in gammaglobulin is not associated with haematological malignancy.


Refer via 2WW if: 

  • results of serum protein electrophoresis AND urinary BJP suggest myeloma
  • radiology reported as suggestive of myeloma and myeloma screen confirms myeloma

When considering referral, take into account other features including: Hypercalcaemia, abnormal full blood count, acute kidney injury.

Please also see the Paraproteins section of the Haematology guidelines in primary care page for further information.

Efforts are made to ensure the accuracy and agreement of these guidelines, including any content uploaded, referred to or linked to from the system. However, BNSSG ICB cannot guarantee this. This guidance does not override the individual responsibility of healthcare professionals to make decisions appropriate to the circumstances of the individual patient, in consultation with the patient and/or guardian or carer, in accordance with the mental capacity act, and informed by the summary of product characteristics of any drugs they are considering. Practitioners are required to perform their duties in accordance with the law and their regulators and nothing in this guidance should be interpreted in a way that would be inconsistent with compliance with those duties.

Information provided through Remedy is continually updated so please be aware any printed copies may quickly become out of date.