The National Cancer Intelligence Network (NCIN) has published data today confirming a wide variation in referrals made by GPs, across England, for patients with suspected cancer.
The data was taken from more than 1 million patients, which showed a variation ranging from 830 to 2,550 urgent referrals for every 100,000 patients seen during each year.
Dr Mick Peake, the clinical lead for NCIN has accepted that the data released has been difficult to interpret as it is not known what the ‘optimum’ level should be in relation to referrals.
However, what it does clearly indicate is that different standards of care within GP practices across the country.
The data is available to the public as part of the Government’s open data strategy. This means that the public now have access to a wider range of information about GP practices. This would include details about the number of patients referred, number of patients who have been screened and also the number referred through the urgent two week wait system.
Early diagnosis of cancer is clearly critical to ensure that patients receive optimum treatment.
Our Clinical Negligence team have considerable experience in representing clients with a delayed diagnosis of cancer, by both GPs and specialists, which has impacted on the treatment they required and their chances of survival. We have settled cases for clients with breast, bowel and prostate cancer and melanomas.