Record cancer referrals in November, data shows

21st January 2022 by NASGP

Record cancer referrals in November, data shows

GPs made 246,316 urgent cancer referrals last November, Pulse reports.

Data released by NHS England shows almost a quarter of a million patients were sent for investigations in the month before Christmas.

This beats the previous high of 232,136 referrals during March 2021, at the end of the third UK lockdown.

Pulse also reported that provisional data showed that 77% were seen by a specialist within two weeks of their urgent referral, down from 81% the previous month.

Dr Richard Fieldhouse, chair of NASGP, said: “These record figures prove – not that proof is needed – how busy GPs have been in the run up to Christmas. Cancer referrals are always emotionally exhausting for the patient, and also to a degree for us GPs as well.

“No doubt this increase in cancer referrals will be matched by non-cancer referrals too, and increased referrals also means more management in primary care once the patient has been discharged from secondary care.

“All of this falls within the rich tapestry of working as a GP, but must be followed by an increase in workforce support to match this rise and help us cope with the lack of workforce with which we entered this pandemic.”

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