This site is intended for healthcare professionals only

Referral delays cause cancer patients to mistrust healthcare professionals

Written by: | Published:

Patients have more faith if referred quickly Patients have more faith in healthcre professionals if they are referred quickly

Patients lose faith in healthcare professionals if it takes more than three trips to general practice to be referred for cancer tests states research by Cancer Research UK scientists.

The researchers from University College London and the University of Cambridge found that of the nearly 60,000 survey respondents diagnosed through their GP or nurse, almost 13,300 (23%) had been seen three or more times before being referred for cancer tests.

Thirty-nine per cent of those who experienced referral delays were disatisfied with the support they received from their GP and nurses compared to 28% of those referred after one or two primary care visits.

Overall, patients who had seen their GP three or more times before being referred were more likely to report negative experiences across 10 of 12 different aspects of their care. Eighteen per cent of these patients were dissatisfied with the way they were told they had cancer, compared to 33% of those who were referred promptly.

Dr Richard Roope, Cancer Research UK's GP expert, said: It's important we now step up efforts to ensure potential cancer symptoms can be investigated promptly, such as through the new NICE referral guidelines launched last month to give GPs more freedom to quickly refer patients with worrying symptoms. This will hopefully contribute to improving the patient experience, one of the six strategic priorities recommended by the UK's Cancer Task Force last week.'

Sara Hiom, director of early diagnosis at Cancer Research UK, said: 'This is the first time we've had direct feedback from patients on such a large scale to show how the timeliness of their diagnosis colours their experience of the care they later receive. It's another good reason to highlight the importance of diagnosing cancer as quickly as possible, not just to give patients the best chances of survival, but also to improve their experience of the care they receive throughout their cancer journey.'

What do you think? Leave a comment below or tweet your views to @IndyNurseMag

This material is protected by MA Healthcare Ltd copyright.
See Terms and Conditions.

Comments

Name
 
Email
 
Comments
 

Please view our Terms and Conditions before leaving a comment.

Change the CAPTCHA codeSpeak the CAPTCHA code
 

Most read articles from Practice Nursing Journal

Practice Nursing Journal latest issue and most read articles.

Click here to read a selection of free to access articles from Practice Nursing Journal

Newsletter

Sign up to the newsletter

About

Independent Nurse is the professional resource for primary care and community nurses, providing clinical articles for practice nurses and prescribers.

Newsletter

Subscribe to our newsletter and stay up to date with the latest nursing news.

Stay Connected

Stay social with Independent Nurse by following us on Twitter, liking us on Facebook or connecting on LinkedIn.

Archive

Need access to some of our older articles? You can view our archive, or alternatively contact us.

Contact Us

MA Healthcare Ltd.
St Jude's Church, Dulwich Road
London, SE24 0PB

Tel: +44 (0)20 7738 5454
Registered in England and Wales No. 01878373

Meet the team

Authors

Find out how to contribute to Independent Nurse here.