freephone 0800 862 0373
Sign in to view your quotes
Email address:
Password or PIN:

Forgotten your password? Reset it here.

GPs waiting too long to refer cancer patients to a specialist

Published on 25/11/2011

Nearly one in four patients with cancer symptoms have to wait more than a month for a referral to a specialist from their GP, a new study shows.

The National Audit of Cancer Diagnosis in Primary Care, compiled by the Royal College of GPs, found that 73.2 per cent of patients visiting their GP were referred to a specialist after one or two consultations. Of these, 60 per cent were seen by a specialist within two weeks.

But the study also showed that 4 per cent of patients with cancer symptoms had to see their GP at least 5 times before they were referred to specialist care. This figure includes 14 per cent of myeloma patients and 8 per cent of stomach cancer patients.

One in five of the patients with cancers of the lung, ovary, pancreas and stomach had to go to their GP three or more times with symptoms. While symptoms of these cancers are common, the cancers themselves are rare, making them harder to diagnose.

Greg Rubin, professor of general practice and primary care at Durham University said:

“The good news is that many patients are identified promptly as needing specialist assessment, but we could do better and improved access to cancer tests would help in this.”

The audit found that one in five patients with brain cancer were actually identified in A&E, as were 10 per cent of kidney and stomach cancer patients, because of the difficulty of diagnosis.

Early diagnosis and treatment of cancer improves patients' chances of survival. Delays in diagnosis have long been blamed for the UK having poorer survival rates than other European countries.

Patients with private medical insurance will be covered for seeing a specialist of their choice, at a time of their choice, after referral from a GP. Private medical insurance will also allow patients to have scans and diagnostic tests without going on the NHS waiting list.

Compare health insurance policies online now to gain peace of mind about your future health.

© ActiveQuote Ltd. 2011

Categories:  NHS and Hospitals
GPs waiting too long to refer cancer patients to a specialistNearly one in four patients with cancer symptoms have to wait more than a month for a referral to a specialist from their GP, a new study sh    tweet it on twittershare with your friends on Facebookshare with your friends on MySpaceBlog it on your LinkedIn profile

No.1 health insurance broker as rated by customers

Good value and the advisor was very helpful and recommended the best policy for my grandson. I would definitely use this service again and recommend to others.

Review centre member

We were contacted in good time to make a knowledgable choice. We were given plenty of options with lots of information to enable us to make the right choice.

Review centre member

The service I received was excellent, the staff member was very efficient and knowledgable. She went out of her way to get the best policy for me.

Review centre member

Great service. I really appreciated the help provided by Active Quote to arrange health insurance. The agent was very informative and proactive. Many thanks!

Review centre member

I received excellent care and attention from the first phone call till the last. Friendly, efficient and patient.

Review centre member

Staff are very helpful, friendly and polite. They call back when they say they will and keep you up to date with progress. Pleasure to deal with.

Review centre member

Very polite and friendly, and gave detailed explanations of all aspects of the cover. Reassuring to know that if you do have a problem there is someone you can contact.

Review centre member

Friendly and efficient. Nothing was too much trouble even when i needed to make a small change, excellent service.

Review centre member

The advisor was incredibly helpful and fully explained the differences between the policies. I really liked the fact that I was put under no pressure.

Review centre member

I was pleasantly surprised with the in-depth knowledge, the efficiency and the nice and polite manner of the staff - the explanations were made very clearly.

Review centre member
This site is operated by Insurance Broker ActiveQuote Ltd registered in England & Wales company number 6765845.
Authorised and Regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). Firm reference number 501109 as detailed on the Financial Services Register. Please read our Key Facts document.
For information about your rights as a consumer visit Citizens Advice.

Our insurance comparison service is free and easy for you to use, but you are responsible for making sure all your information is entered correctly, and for choosing your insurer.

This site uses cookies in order to work correctly - these are not harmful and do not contain personal information. By using this site you consent to this. I understand  Tell me more

please wait ...