Helen Hayes – 2015 Parliamentary Question to the Department of Health

The below Parliamentary question was asked by Helen Hayes on 2015-10-09.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health, with reference to the article entitled GP practices offered questionable incentives to cut urgent cancer referrals, published in Pulse on 1 October 2015, what discussions he (a) has had and (b) plans to have with (i) those clinical commissioning groups referred to and (ii) the General Medical Council on such incentives.

Jane Ellison

The number of patients referred to hospital for urgent cancer checks has increased by more than 600,000 over the past five years, and we want it to go up even more to diagnose suspected cancers earlier. The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence has set out evidence based guidelines for when patients should be referred, and no clinical commissioning group (CCG) incentive scheme should cut across that. NHS England has contacted each of the CCGs mentioned to ensure that this is very clearly communicated to all practices.

NHS England is currently working with partners across the health system to determine how best to take forward the recommendations of the independent Cancer Taskforce Report and put in place a governance structure for delivery.