Cancer Research UK and Royal College of GPs form new partnership to improve early diagnosis

In collaboration with the Press Association

Cancer Research UK has launched a new partnership with GPs to improve cancer diagnosis and care in general practice.

A Clinic Lead for Cancer position has been created, the first of its kind, to oversee a five-year partnership programme with the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP).

Professor Greg Rubin, who is a professor of general practice and primary care at Durham University, has been appointed to the role.

Funded by Cancer Research UK, Professor Rubin will act as an advisor on issues affecting cancer in primary care.

One of his first tasks will be to oversee the development of a strategy to improve early diagnosis.

Sara Hiom, director of information at Cancer Research UK, said: "We're delighted to be a part of this unique and important partnership and congratulate Greg on his appointment.

"The GP is the first port of call for the majority of patients with symptoms that could be cancer, which highlights the vital role GPs play in cancer diagnosis.

"Cancer Research UK is committed to saving more lives from cancer, and ensuring the disease is caught as early as possible is a priority to achieve this.

"By working together with the RCGP, through this programme, we aim to develop ways to help doctors confidently diagnose more cancers at an earlier stage and ultimately save more lives."

As part of the partnership, RCGP and Cancer Research UK will put together best practice models and guidance for GPs, including learning kits and educational resources.

Alongside this, the programme wants to inform and support health commissioners to make the best decisions about pathways of cancer care.

GPs will be encouraged to adopt models of participation for patients, relatives and carers too.

The cancer partnership is the first of a new set of 'enduring priorities' for RCGP - five-year programmes to focus on conditions with a large impact on public health.

Copyright Press Association 2012