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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.