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General Practitioners: Training

Volume 508: debated on Monday 29 March 2010

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what training general practitioners receive on (a) referral pathways for cancer patients and (b) how such referral pathways can be utilised. (323688)

The Department does not specify the content of the general practitioner (GP) training curriculum. GPs are expected to keep their knowledge and skills up to date throughout their working life, and take part in educational activities that maintain and further develop their competence and performance.

To support GPs in the referral of patients with suspected cancer, the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence produced referral guidelines for suspected cancer in 2005. These guidelines are intended for use by health care professionals in primary care and can also be used in the education and training of health professionals. These guidelines are used together with local protocols for referral as agreed by the local provider and the primary care trust, and in line with national commitments for cancer waiting time standards.