A Quality Toolkit for General Practice: Improving care after cancer treatment


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Paul Baughan1,Lorna Porteous2,Jean Sargeant1,Lorraine Sloan1,Andy Murphy1,Judith Mabelis1
1Macmillan Cancer Support,2NHS Lothian

Abstract

Background

Primary Care has an important role in supporting people following a diagnosis of cancer.  The ‘Macmillan Cancer Care in Primary Care: a quality toolkit’  was developed to help GP practices and GP clusters improve care for people living with cancer.

Method

By using case studies, reflective practice, data collection and critical analysis, practices identified opportunities for improvements in current systems and processes as well as content of Cancer Care Reviews (CCR). Support and advice was offered from local Macmillan GPs and health board cancer leads.

 

Practices completed baseline and follow-up questionnaires, and a quantitative and qualitative evaluation was also undertaken.

Results

251 Scottish GP practices (26% of total) from 12 health boards completed the toolkit. 190 practices (76%) completed both data collection questionnaires.

 

At baseline, 45% of practices had a robust system in place to routinely contact people after a diagnosis of cancer, increasing to 78% of practices following completion of the Toolkit (figure 1).

 

The range of topics discussed at a CCR increased following completion of the Toolkit (figure 2). More practices reported discussing the provision of cancer information (increased from 28% to 58%), the benefits of physical activity (increased from 25% to 46%), and the financial impact of a diagnosis (increased from 32% to 61%) at follow-up.

Following completion of the Toolkit, 142 GP practices (76% of total) reported that they felt better equipped to support people living with cancer by either a moderate or large extent (figure 3).

Conclusion

People with cancer often consult Primary Care professionals following their diagnosis.  A significant proportion of Scottish GP Practices (26%) undertook the Macmillan Quality Toolkit.  Following completion there is evidence of improved systems for contacting people following a diagnosis of cancer, a broader range of issues discussed at CCR, including further information regarding cancer, exercise, and the financial impact of diagnosis.