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GPs audit to improve battle against skin cancer

26 August 2014

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GPs who carry out practice-based dermatological surgery have been asked to take part in a ground-breaking new audit. 

The audit, carried out by the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) aims to establish how many GPs are carrying out dermatological surgery, which includes:

 – Removing skin cancers.

 – Pre-cancerous skin lesions.

 – Benign skin cysts. 

 – Lipoma. 

 – Excision of ‘small lumps and bumps’. 

The Community-Based Surgery Audit (CBSA) will provide the first ‘snapshot’ of dermatological treatment responses in general practice in the UK. 

RCGP hopes the system will allow GPs to monitor and improve the quality of the care they provide, including peer comparison reporting. 

The statistics, submitted by individual GP practices, will be used to compile a nationwide database. 

Dr Imran Rafi, chair of the RCGP Clinical Innovation and Research Centre said: “It’s almost a misnomer  to refer to Practice-based surgery  as ‘minor’ because the implications of this kind of work are often so significant. GPs are playing an increasingly important  role in the diagnosis – and removal – of skin lesions.

“Patients trust their GP and many feel more comfortable having this type of treatment at their local practice, rather than going to hospital. It’s vital that we establish how many of these procedures are taking place so that we can support more GPs to do this work – thereby reducing  pressure on secondary care and specialist units.”

More information on the national pilot, launched in partnership with the Health and Social Care Information Centre, is available on the CBSA website