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									Using practice profiles to engage GPs in cancer


Greater Midlands Cancer Network GP adviser Dr Bruce Eden has found that practice
profiles of cancer data are an effective way of engaging GPs in the cancer agenda –
provided the data is in an understandable format.


In 2010/11 NCAT made available pdfs that included a spine chart for every practice
showing diagrammatically how their cancer statistics compared with the PCT and
England mean. This information was also available through the Cancer
Commissioning Toolkit but as columns of figures.


Bruce found that practices were keen to understand the profiles and found them
useful, when he discussed them on visits to individual practices. Presentations to
groups of GPs at education events also ‘brought a flurry of interest’.


‘Interpreting information is the biggest value’, he says. Some practices had looked at
the tables on the Cancer Commissioning Toolkit but only realised the potential of the
practice profiles when they saw the information presented in a more intelligible form.


Bruce’s work with practice profiles builds on the work he did the previous year on the
RCGP/NCAT audit (see xx) and the effort seems to be paying off. He emailed
practices to ask if any GP would be interested in acting as a GP locality lead to help
with visits to discuss a practice’s profile, and had received 11 expressions of interest
so far, which suggests that cancer and early diagnosis has struck a cord.


Speaking to learning set audiences mainly of people from PCTs Bruce explained
some of the nuts and bolts of engaging GPs such as:


   -   Face to face communication is probably best, if possible as part of a regular
       meeting but not on Mondays or after a Bank Holiday
   -   Email is best for practice managers but keep it brief, or do a summary at the
       beginning, and don’t fill their in-box with logos or complex tables
   -   The 2004 GP contract means GPs’ work is now clearly defined and they don’t
       tend to take on new work without payment but earlier diagnosis of cancer
       should be considered core work.
This article is based on presentations to NCAT learning sets organised by Frontline
in London in summer 2011.




Bruce’s presentation on GP engagement for PCT staff is on the NAEDI website [live
link]


See also article about Bruce’s use of the audit to engage GPs [live link]

								
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