Dr Tom Hodges-Hoyland, Vision Medical Advisor, notes why the latest additions of Vision’s suite of cancer tools are important for primary care practices to understand and know about.
We need all the help we can to get to identify cancer early. Cancer Research UK estimates 52,000 patients a year have their odds of survival cut because the disease is not caught quickly enough. More recently, Public Health England looked at the records of 4,637 patients diagnosed with cancer in A&E and found that 71% had seen their GP a least once with symptoms that turned out to be cancer. And 41% of that 71% had seen a doctor three times with symptoms. All the evidence is we have to do better for our patients.
That’s why Vision has been working closely with Macmillan Cancer Support to provide Cancer Decision Support (CDS) tools that can help general practitioners identify patients at risk of undiagnosed site-specific cancers, based on coded data in the patient’s files.
The cancers that the CDS can calculate risk for include:
Cancer Care Review
For some time now GPs have been asked to review cancer patient’s progress within six months of diagnosis as part of the Quality and Outcomes Framework (QOF). The objective of the review is to help the patient affected by cancer to understand what information and support are available to them in their local area and to enable supported self-management as part of their recovery.
However, clinicians have never really been told what that review should contain or how to conduct it. Some GPs offer extended face-to-face consultations, others brief phone calls and a significant number of patients have no review at all. GPs understand it is not a clinical review, which is done by the patient’s specialist, but that leaves many GPs wondering what it should cover.
Macmillan’s Cancer Care Review templates offer pointers and defined areas that reviewers should cover like distressing symptoms, family support, accessing benefits and third sector assistance and includes links to Macmillan’s own advisors and services in local areas.
Everything is embedded in Vision’s system and will appear in a format similar to this:
Are the reviews worth the time and the effort?
Most patient studies indicate that patients welcome and benefit from a focussed Cancer Care Review with their GP. Benefits include:
- The opportunity to address a patient’s general needs and requirements for ongoing support
- Helping to manage the long-term consequences of cancer treatment
- Greater self-management and better health and quality of life outcomes for patients that are supported and well informed
Think cancer, diagnose early and prevent disease
Thinking about cancer can help to lead to early diagnosis and disease prevention. Vision hopes that the combination of its Cancer Decision Support tools and the Quality Toolkit and the Cancer Review template will make a significant contribution to the consistent and early diagnosis and high-quality management of cancer in all its practices.
For more information about the Cancer Decision Support tools, please click here.
Find the Cancer Care Review tool in Vision's download files.
For more information about the Cancer Care Review tools, please click here.
Find out more about population health
Vision's population health solution is Outcomes Manager. A growing number of CCGs, health boards and public health teams are using it for:
- NHS health checks
- Identifying patients with undiagnosed long-term conditions
- Managing care for specific diseases