Audits on diagnostic pathways in primary care
SPH has undertaken primary care audits on diagnostic pathways for patients newly diagnosed with cancer for two regions of England. Commissioned by local clinical commissioning groups, together these audits included data from ~150 GP practices and ~3,600 cancer patients diagnosed within a 12 month period. The audits collected data on patient characteristics, symptoms, cancer type, location of first presentation and intervals in the diagnostic pathway, including identifying areas of potential delay. The analysis of the audit data highlighted variations between geographical areas and groups of cancer patients. They also provided an opportunity for GPs to reflect on their practice in the diagnosis and onward referral of patients with symptoms that might indicate cancer, build upon current good practice and inform service improvements.