Safety netting to improve early diagnosis in primary care
Development of consensus guidelines
Funding: Department of Health (2011)
A recently completed study (DH commissioned) identified and prioritised the different components of safety netting in relation to cancer diagnosis in primary care. Prior to this work, undertaken by the Cancer Safety Net Development Team, there was no formal consensus as to what the elements of safety netting in primary care for cancer diagnoses were, or the optimal use of these strategies. The recommendations which resulted from this work, conducted among primary care cancer leads and academics, included specific information to be communicated to patients for whom there is no initial diagnosis, and actions that GPs should take during or shortly after the consultation.
Future work: We are developing a programme of research to validate those recommendations judged to be of high and intermediate priority within the broader GP community, and to understand patient perspectives on safety netting, the communication of uncertainty by GPs, subsequent follow up and cancer diagnosis. This will lead to the development of strategies for implementation of the key components of safety netting.