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GPs ‘will need specialist help’

10 May 2011

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Most GPs think they will require specialist help to make sure they commission the correct cancer services, according to a poll.

Around 71% of GPs agree or strongly agree that they will need guidance on cancer if the government’s NHS reforms move forward.

Overall, 82% of doctors think GPs in their area would need specialist advice if they were given the responsibility for commissioning.

Most GPs also believe that radiotherapy (81%), chemotherapy (76%) and cancer surgery (79%) should be commissioned at a national or regional level.

The Cancer Campaigning Group (CCG), a coalition of more than 40 cancer charities, commissioned the poll of more than 800 GPs. The results have raised concerns that cancer care could suffer under the proposals for the NHS.

Ciaran Devane, Chief Executive at Macmillan Cancer Support, one of the charities on the CCG steering group, said: “GPs are telling us they will need specialist advice to commission cancer services so it’s extremely worrying that the funding of the cancer networks that can provide this help is still under threat.

“Cancer is a set of highly complex diseases so it’s vital GP consortia understand and are able to meet both the clinical and the longer-term needs of people living with or after cancer.

“The government can’t leave cancer care to chance by not confirming permanent funding for cancer networks.

“Cancer patients need to know their care will not suffer because of the NHS reforms.”

Copyright © Press Association 2011

The Cancer Campaigning Group