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NICE to review skin cancer guidance after GP minor surgery row

By Ian Quinn

NICE has announced it is to review its controversial skin cancer guidelines following huge controversy over the issue of GPs involved in minor surgery.

The body has called on Professor Mike Richards, National Cancer Director, to chair what promises to be a stormy meeting between NICE, representatives of the BMA, the RCGP and the British Association of Dermatologists to address the concerns.

Fergus Macbeth, Director of the Centre for Clinical Practice at NICE said today: ‘The NICE cancer service guidance on skin cancer, published in 2006, highlights the significant role GPs can play in the diagnosis and management of skin cancer.

‘However, NICE has become aware of concerns, particularly from GPs, about some of the recommendations in the guidance around GP involvement in minor surgery and how it is being interpreted and implemented in such a way as to limit their role in minor skin surgery generally.'

The meeting will take place on April 17 and will review the recommendations in the guidance and the subsequent Cancer Peer Review Measures, particularly in relation to the definition of ‘low risk basal cell carcinoma (BCC)', together with evidence that has become available since the NICE guidance was published.

NICE said the aim of the meeting was to make available further information to allow GPs to understand the relevance of the guidance to their practice and to help with its interpretation and implementation.

Professor Richards said: ‘The number of new cases of skin cancer continues to rise year on year. It is important, therefore, that wherever people are diagnosed and treated they have access to the same high quality standard of care from trained professionals.

‘I look forward to meeting with dermatologists and colleagues from primary care to address their concerns about the NICE skin cancer guidance so that we can ensure that all patients receive optimal care for their condition.'

GP minor surgery: NICE to review controversy over guidelines for cancer treatment GP minor surgery: NICE to review controversy over guidelines for cancer treatment

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