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GPs to be 'named and shamed' after missing cancer diagnoses

GPs who continually fail to spot signs of cancer could be publicly ‘named and shamed’ under new proposals from health secretary Jeremy Hunt, claim media reports.

Mr Hunt has vowed to root out GPs who put patients’ lives at risk by failing to send them to hospital for vital tests soon enough, reported the Mail on Sunday this weekend.

The newspaper claimed that doctors found to be dismissing early cancer symptoms as something less serious could face being identified with a ‘red flag’ on an NHS website.

The health secretary told the Mail: ‘We need to do much better. Cancer diagnosis levels around the country vary significantly and we must do much more to improve both the level of diagnosis and to bring those GP practices with poor referral rates up to the standards of the best.’

The move comes after the BMA criticised the publication of ‘simplistic’ league tables of GP practice performance on cancer diagnosis last year, after NHS England released a large tranche of outcomes data on the NHS Choices website for patients to scrutinise.

CCGs will also be measured on the time taken to refer patients for testing of ovarian and colorectal cancers, under 28 new outcomes indicators proposed by NICE for 2015/16.


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Readers' comments (57)

  • everyone gets an MRI scan " just to be safe " -goodbye NHS it can't afford it . Jeremy Hunt is such a - - idiot.

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  • There won't be any Gp's left to " root out "

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  • I was pleasantly surprised yesterday by the comments made by Daily Mail readers - even they recognised that this idea is pants!

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  • Hi Jimmy, NHS boss in Medway is being given 200,000 a year for working one day a week. How much do you get for this buffoonery 24/7, I wonder.

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  • Vinci Ho

    Predictable from Agent Hunt
    Rule by fear
    Flood in with your comments please
    All welcome

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  • Maybe Mr Hunt needs a red flag or two for repeatedly missing and dissmissing,deliberate or not symptoms of a terminal malaise in the NHS.

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  • GPs should now make a point of referring every slight possibility for hospital tests, overwhelm the system and bring its collapse. After all, they are only following Hunt's scheme aren't they? It really is long overdue that doctors expose the reality of following this foolish politician's cynical electioneering.

    I note it was announced in the Hate Mail. In other words JH has given his attack dog newspaper the exclusive to publish his policy.

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  • Bring it on!

    I'll refer every patient with any remote possibility of cancer. Even a 5 year old with cough for 22 days will be referred. I'll quote the health secretary in every letter and if LAT/CCG/GMC tries to performance manage me, I'll point out the NICE guidance and let the papers know - "health chief tells GP not to send patients for cancer diagnosis" should be the head line!

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  • Anyone not noticed Mr Hunt tends to publicise his plans/ideas on a Sunday?
    - BMA unable to reply
    - It gets in the Mail on Sunday
    - sunday usually a poor news day , so also gets on websites/BBC etc
    Manipulation of the NHS for political means, got to stop. really needs to be a big response to this now. If it wasn`t for a mortgage I would leave. have already started looking for alternatives. The Goverment that collapses the NHS will never get back into power.

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  • Dream headline for the Mail on Sunday :- Immigrant GP tortures Royal baby . It has it all .

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