Developments in the treatment of cancer in primary care hailed at RCGP conference

Professor Greg Rubin, RCGP Clinical Champion for Cancer, will lead a session at the RCGP Annual Primary Care Conference today discussing recent developments in the diagnosis and management of cancer in primary care and the interface with secondary care.

Amongst the research being discussed is a study in response to criticism that too many patients with cancer present for the first time in emergency departments. A qualitative analysis of significant event audits have shown significant primary care input in the diagnosis of cancers, suggesting that only a quarter of cancers are diagnosed through emergency presentation.

Another paper discusses what GPs can do to encourage and educate patients to have skin melanomas checked as early as possible, following research that those presenting with thicker, more mature, lesions have poorer outcomes.

Cancer is the first ever enduring clinical priority for the RCGP and this week three new e-learning courses have been launched as part of the College’s ever expanding Online Learning Environment.

Breast Cancer Screening: the Essentials, Bowel Cancer Screening: the Essentials, and HPV: the Essentials are now available free of charge for healthcare professionals and each offers CPD credits, essential for revalidation.

Are doctors neglecting the well whilst caring for the sick?

Following author and broadcaster Dr Ben Goldacre’s speech in the morning plenary session on Bad Pharma, another session chaired by Dr Matt Hoghton, Chair of the RCGP Clinical Innovation and Research Centre, will discuss this controversial topic further.

It looks at the duty healthcare professionals have to protect the well, in addition to their responsibility to the sick, covering the harms of medicine, over diagnosis, over treatment, and the dangers of deference.

Ben Goldacre will give his plenary speech at 10:25 this morning.

Also at the RCGP Annual Primary Care conference today:

Caring against the clock questions the relevance of the 10-minute consultation at a time when our population is ageing and patients are routinely presenting with multiple and complex conditions, both physical and mental.

The interactive debate will look at the possibilities for and pros and cons of a more flexible system suited to the needs of our ever-changing population and also examples of good practice, where flexible systems have already been implemented.

GPs and the dementia challenge is a debate hosted by Dr Jill Rasmussen, RCGP Clinical Champion for Dementia, looking at how to prioritise primary care resources in the treatment of patients with dementia.

Community engagement looks at the costs and benefits of promoting community involvement when commissioning healthcare services, at a time when commissioners have fewer resources and the public have higher expectations.

The RCGP published commissioning guidance entitled ‘Working with communities, developing communities’ in April to coincide with the roll-out of GP-led clinical commissioning across England. It set out a financial case and health case as to why investing resources in Community Development is beneficial for local populations, primary care practitioners and CCGs.


Further information

Further Information

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

Notes to editor

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.