The COVID-19 pandemic has led to the widespread use of remote (telephone and video) consulting by GPs and other primary care providers. For some patients, this type of consultation will be acceptable, and they may even prefer this approach. However, for others it may mean that they delay seeking help, which could lead to a less positive outcome.
Vulnerable groups such as older people, people living in deprived areas or people from black, Asian and minority groups already face more and different barriers when seeking help, and often only seek help when their cancer is at a more advanced stage.
The study which will be carried out at the North Wales Centre for Primary Care Research, Wrexham, – part of Bangor University and will seek to understand how the use of this technology will affect vulnerable groups, what concerns they may have and identify the ways in which it can be improved.
North West Cancer Research is a completely independent charity, dedicated to putting our region’s cancer needs first, funding pioneering, life-saving research to tackle the cause, improve the care and find the cure for cancer. They support the best cancer research, education and awareness throughout the North West and North Wales.
Tenovus Cancer Care brings expert advice, emotional support and life-saving treatment to the heart of communities. They help cancer patients and their loved ones cope, and their vital research gives hope.
Dr Tim Banks, Head of Research at Tenovus Cancer Care, said: “We are very excited to be working with North West Cancer Research on this project. Collaboration is so important to enhance both the sustainability and quality of cancer research, especially during these difficult times. This project is very important as not only are we seeing increased numbers of remote consultations in primary care, we know that the earlier someone is diagnosed, the greater the chances they have of a positive outcome. Therefore, we need to ensure that this form of consultation is as accessible and effective as possible.”
Alastair Richards, CEO of North West Cancer Research commented: “We are really pleased to be working together with Tenovus Cancer Care on such an important project. Cancer diagnosis and treatment has been severely impacted by Covid and it’s therefore vital that we seek to understand the impact that remote consultations are having. The knowledge generated from this project should improve remote consultation for cancer patients and aid early diagnosis.”