31 July 2012

Cancer: RCGP Comment on GP Practice and PCT Profiles

Professor Clare Gerada, RCGP Chair, said:

“These practice profiles contain a wealth of information about the important contribution that GPs make to saving lives from cancer, including how well they do in screening for cancer, investigating patients and referring promptly those who need specialist assessment.

"The RCGP’s very first audit of cancer diagnosis in primary care published last year revealed that over 70% of patients visiting their GP were referred to a specialist after one or two consultations and nearly 60 per cent of all patients referred attended secondary care within two weeks. There are some patients where we do, for various reasons, have difficulty in making a rapid diagnosis and we must always be looking at how we can do better and do more. There is no doubt that giving GPs greater and improved access to cancer tests would be a major step forward.

“The College has identified cancer as its first ‘enduring’ priority to look at how we can help GPs build upon their existing skills to diagnose cancer earlier and provide the best possible quality of care to patients who have cancer. A major strand of this work has been the appointment of Professor Greg Rubin, in partnership with Cancer Research UK, as our first dedicated Clinical Champion for Cancer.”


RCGP Press office – 020 3188 7574/7575/7576
Out of hours:  0203 188 7659 


In April, the RCGP marked the start of the five-year programme of work by entering into a partnership with Cancer Research UK, and appointing Professor Greg Rubin as Cancer Research UK and UK Clinical Lead for Cancer. The partnership’s first priority is to create a strategy focused on improving early diagnosis of cancer in primary care.

The Royal College of General Practitioners is a network of more than 44,000 family doctors working to improve care for patients. We work to encourage and maintain the highest standards of general medical practice and act as the voice of GPs on education, training, research and clinical standards.