27 November 2015

Royal College of General Practitioners Launch New 'Consequences of Cancer' Toolkit

The Royal College of General Practitioners, in partnership with Macmillan Cancer Support, has today launched an innovative toolkit to support primary care professionals to deliver high quality care to people living with the consequences of cancer and their subsequent treatment.

The ‘Consequences of Cancer’ toolkit brings together best practice advice, clinical guidance and patient resources in one place on the RCGP website.

Macmillan Cancer Support estimates that around 625,000 people in the UK experience long term health conditions caused by their cancer or its treatment, including physical and psychological effects such as chronic fatigue, lymphoedema, and urinary and gastrointestinal problems.

It is hoped that the toolkit will enable primary care professionals to make informed decisions to support patients to live well after a cancer diagnosis, and to involve patients in their own care.

The toolkit is part of an RCGP Spotlight Project delivered by the College’s Clinical Innovation and Research Centre in collaboration with Macmillan GP Advisors, which aims to raise awareness of the consequences of cancer and its treatment in primary care. This will be supported by a series of free educational events which will be held in early 2016 to introduce GPs and other primary care professionals to the resources available.

Dr Richard Roope, Cancer Lead for the Royal College of GPs, says:

“More people are living longer with, and beyond, cancer diagnosis, reflecting the excellent efforts made by healthcare professionals right across the NHS, who have worked to improve early diagnosis and treatment.

“For an increasing number of patients, cancer is now a long term condition rather than an acute disease, with more that 50% living for 10 years or longer, after their diagnosis. The toolkit provides guidance on what good practice looks like and gives practical advice on issues that need to be considered when caring for a person living with cancer and beyond.

“Cancer is an enduring priority for the College and we believe that this toolkit can support GPs to advance their understanding of cancer and help their patients to manage their condition and the consequences of some treatments.”

Dr Rosie Loftus, GP and Joint Chief Medical Officer at Macmillan Cancer Support, says:

“Improvements in the diagnosis and treatment of cancer mean that more people are living longer after a cancer diagnosis, but not everyone is living well. This presents a challenge for the health service in terms of increasing numbers of people living with complex and unmet needs.

“We know that GPs play a vital role in providing long term care for cancer patients, and identifying and managing the consequences of cancer and its treatment. We are delighted that this toolkit will support them to deliver the best quality care possible for their patients.”

Macmillan is calling on the Government to fully fund and implement an ambitious five year ‘Living with and Beyond Cancer’ Programme in England which will ensure that people get the right care for their individual needs at every stage from their diagnosis and support a person to cope with life during and after cancer treatment. This includes the roll out of practical solutions, including every person with cancer having access to a ‘Recovery Package’ by 2020.

RCGP Spotlight Projects run from April to March and bring attention and focus to a specific area of work that is complementary to an existing Clinical Priority programme within the College. Expressions of interest for 2016/17 projects are now open.

Further Information

RCGP Press office: 020 3188 7574/7575/7581
Out of hours: 0203 188 7659


The Royal College of General Practitioners is a network of more than 50,000 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.