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Exploring public attitudes towards the new Faster Diagnosis Standard for cancer: a focus group study with the UK public

Piano, M; Black, G; Amelung, D; Power, E; Whitaker, KL; (2019) Exploring public attitudes towards the new Faster Diagnosis Standard for cancer: a focus group study with the UK public. British Journal of General Practice 10.3399/bjgp19X702677. (In press). Green open access

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Abstract

BACKGROUND: The Faster Diagnosis Standard (FDS) is to be introduced in England in 2020. This standard is a new policy in which patients should have cancer ruled out or diagnosed within 28 days of referral. AIM: To explore public attitudes towards the FDS within the context of their recent referral experiences. DESIGN AND SETTING: Four 90-minute focus groups (two in Guildford, two in Bradford). METHOD: Participants aged >50 years without a current cancer diagnosis (N = 29), who had completed certain diagnostic tests, for example, ultrasound, and received results within the last 6 months were recruited. Age, education, and sex were evenly distributed across groups through purposive sampling. RESULTS: The largest cause of concern was the waiting process for obtaining test results. Most had experienced swift referral, and it was difficult for participants to understand how the new standard could impact upon time progressing through the system. Responsibility for meeting the standard was also a concern: participants did not see their own behaviours as a form of involvement. The GP's role was conceptualised by patients as communicating about their referral, establishing patients' preferences for information, and continued involvement at each stage of the referral process. The standard legitimised chasing for test results, but 28 days was considered too long. CONCLUSION: Patients should be asked what they would like to know about their referral. GPs should be more transparent about the referral process and the potential for a lack of clarity around next steps.

Type: Article
Title: Exploring public attitudes towards the new Faster Diagnosis Standard for cancer: a focus group study with the UK public
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.3399/bjgp19X702677
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.3399/bjgp19X702677
Language: English
Additional information: © British Journal of General Practice. This article is Open Access: CC BY 4.0 licence (https://creativecommons.org/ licenses/by/4.0/).
Keywords: Faster Diagnosis Standard, cancer, early diagnosis, general practice, patient experience, referral and consultation
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Epidemiology and Health
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Epidemiology and Health > Applied Health Research
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10071050
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