Neal, R.D. et al. (2017) British Journal of Cancer. 116, pp. 293-302
Background: Achieving earlier stage diagnosis is one option for improving lung cancer outcomes in the United Kingdom. Patients with lung cancer typically present with symptoms to general practitioners several times before referral or investigation.
Conclusions: We have demonstrated the feasibility of individually randomising patients at higher risk of lung cancer, to a trial offering urgent investigation or usual care.
NHS England has published new cancer ratings providing a snapshot of how well different areas of the country are diagnosing and treating cancer and supporting patients. The overall rating for each clinical commissioning group is based on four indicators or metrics; early diagnosis, one year survival, 62 day waits after referral, and overall patient experience.
GPs can access the summary from their desktop computer and click through to the recommendations for each symptom group. Recommendations for adults, children and young people are covered, as well as primary care investigations.
Crisford, M. et al. 2016. Cancer Nursing Practice. 15 (1) pp.18-25.
The two-week rule was introduced to address delays in cancer diagnosis. It requires patients with suspected cancer to be seen by a specialist within two weeks of GP referral and has implications for colorectal departments in terms of managing demands on service provision.
In one NHS trust it was addressed by introducing a nurse-led telephone triage assessment to determine patients’ suitability for investigations before attending outpatient clinic. The assessment was developed by a Delphi survey. An audit evaluated whether time from referral to investigation had reduced since introduction of the assessment.
Data were collected retrospectively from 40 patients before its introduction and compared with 40 patients after its introduction. Time to investigation was reduced in the telephone assessment group: a mean of 12.5 days versus 21.2 days, with a mean difference of -8.7 days.
Introduction of telephone assessment reduced time from GP referral to investigation and enabled earlier detection of cancer in line with healthcare policy.