Compliance with swift communication of diagnosis to GPs
Jyoti Shah Consultant urological surgeon, Queen’s Hospital, Burton Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Burton upon Trent, Staffordshire
Jyoti Shah describes an audit to analyse how soon consultants sent a cancer diagnosis to the general practice after informing the patient
Until this year the National Cancer Peer Review Programme Manual for Cancer Services 2008 included a policy that all GPs should be informed of a new cancer diagnosis in their patients within 24 hours. This formed part of internal and external annual assessment of organisations.
A retrospective one-year audit of compliance with this policy was conducted at a district general hospital between April 2013 and March 2014 for all new urological cancer diagnoses.
The results showed that only 68% of all faxes were being sent within the stipulated 24 hours with a wide variation in compliance rate across consultants.
Although no longer a peer review measure, staff in the department believe it is vital to communicate a new cancer diagnosis and treatment plan for each patient to the GP as soon as the patient is told. Staff will continue to undertake an annual internal audit of this measure. It is hoped that greater awareness of the fax policy through education, and increased availability of the document across the hospital, will improve compliance.
Cancer Nursing Practice. 13, 10,24-28. doi: 10.7748/cnp.13.10.24.e1155Correspondence
This article has been subject to double blind peer reviewConflict of interest
Received: 16 October 2014
Accepted: 12 November 2014