GP eLearning Resource

The role of GPs in diagnosing blood cancer early is crucial. Read more about how we're working with The Royal College of General Practitioners, The Royal College of Nursing and primary care to aid early detection.

Primary care health professionals play a crucial role in diagnosing blood cancer early. But the fact that you may only see one case of blood cancer every two years, combined with the notoriously vague and non-specific symptoms, means that diagnosis can be a challenge.

As a result, blood cancers have a higher rate of emergency diagnosis than other cancer types. Emergency presentation rates account for 30% of blood cancers diagnosed, compared to  22% across all cancers. The highest emergency presentation rates for any cancer type occur in acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL), at 64% of patients. Early diagnosis has a significant impact on both survival rates and patient experience.

Leukaemia Care has developed online training modules and in-person events in partnership with the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP).

Online training modules take a closer look at the symptoms of blood cancers and feature case study scenarios, interactive content and tools to put learning into practice. These are available via the RCGP online eLearning portal

Take the training course

Our 2017 Spot Leukaemia campaign raised awareness of blood cancers among the public and primary care. Over 10,000 GP practices received information packs and 250 primary care professionals registered for the RCGP and Leukaemia Care eLearning modules during August and September 2017. At the same time across the country, the public participated in activities to raise awareness of the symptoms and the importance of early detection.

To support this considerable effort, RCGP and Leukaemia Care held its first regional training event for GPs and GP nurses. The Spot Leukaemia training day saw over 40 medical professionals learning about the recognition of blood cancers as well as valuable patient experience.

The outcome of this event is that GPs (and their teams) will be better placed to diagnose blood cancer early, refer earlier and above all be more informed in managing a patient holistically.

Future ‘Spot Leukaemia’ Blood Cancer Learning Workshops

Leukaemia Care are working with The London and South of England and Central and East of England Royal college of General Practitioners (RCGP) regions to raise awareness and understanding of blood cancer among Primary Care health professionals during Blood Cancer Awareness Month (BCAM).

Together we are hosting educational events in London on the 24th September and then following up in Leicester during the last week of January.  These courses support RCGP and leukaemia Care blood cancer e-learning modules. The latest training days follow on from the January workshop pilot with Midlands RCGP.  The ‘Spot Leukaemia’ workshop promotes early diagnosis of blood cancers to an audience of Primary Care Foundation Doctors, GPs, GP Trainees, GP Trainers or educators, Medical students, First5 leads, Nurses, Nurse Practitioners, Practice nurses, community pharmacists and clinical pharmacists

These participative workshops aim to empower Primary Care health professionals to recognise the vagaries involved in a rare blood cancer diagnosis and be up to date of appropriate referral pathways. The events also focus on communication during diagnosis, establishing an action plan and appropriate after care.

Our events are designed to prepare healthcare professionals to be better placed to diagnose blood cancer early, refer earlier and be more informed in managing a patient holistically by:

  • raise the index of suspicion for primary care workers.
  • give specific tips on early warning signs.
  • improve the quality of communication and support offered to patients and their families by primary care.

Confirmed events as follows:

RCGP London and Southern England

Date: 24th September 2018

Time: 12:00 – 17:00

Cost: £10 for members, £15 for non-members

Booking: Open now, book here 

Venue: Royal College of General Practitioners, 30 Euston Square, London NW1 2FB

Audience: Foundation Doctor, GP, GP trainee, GP trainer or educator, medical student, First5, Nurse, Nurse Practitioner, Practice Nurse, community pharmacist, clinical pharmacist.

The Royal College of General Practitioners in partnership with Leukaemia Care are hosting this participative workshop to empower primary care health professionals to recognise the vagaries involved in a rare blood cancer diagnosis and be up to date of appropriate referral pathways. The event also focuses on communication during diagnosis, establishing an action plan and appropriate after care.

Agenda (Subject to change)

  • 12.00 -13.00 Registration and Lunch
  • 13.00 – 13.05 -Introduction

Kingston CCG EOLC Clinical Lead and Macmillan GP. SWL STP EOLC Clinical Lead.  

  • 13.05 – 13.20 ‘Spot Leukaemia’ campaign, Zack Pemberton-Whiteley, Campaigns and Advocacy Director, Leukaemia Care. Patient experience survey findings, ‘Spot Leukaemia’ awareness raising with general population and primary care, on-line RCGP learning modules
  • 13.20 – 14.10 Early diagnosis and influence on outcomes in the Modern era Dr Manos Nikolousis, Consultant Haematologist and Clinical Director, Heartlands Hospital, Heart of England Foundation Trust. This early session will set the scene outlining epidemiology; classification of disease type and discuss varied presentations with case vignettes – look at outcomes in the modern era, while discussing the local and national burden of the different blood cancers on patients and the NHS. How do you practically encounter blood cancers and manage things in primary care?
  • 14.10 – 14.50 Emergency presentation, routes to diagnosis.Dr Gary Abel, Senior Lecturer, Exeter University Medical School: Analysis of NCIN survey report work books and emergency diagnosis of cancer insights from linked patient survey data, to consider whether emergency presentations were preceded by patient contact with the healthcare system. Discussion to explore the emergency routes to diagnosis, consider missed diagnosis opportunities, poorer outcomes and evidence.
  • 14.50 – 15.15 GP perspective – Clinical care in practice, Dr Rachael Marchant, RCGP/CRUK clinical support fellow for cancer, interim clinical support fellow for end of life care, Southend CCG Macmillan GP. Discussion session to explore:  early diagnosis opportunities, challenges and barriers to testing and speedy referral, Improved outcomes and the evidence.
  • 15.15 – 15.30 Tea break
  • 15.30 – 16.30 Clinical care in practice continued – doctor/patient communication during diagnosis, establishing an action plan, on-going holistic care –

Panel: Dr Manos Nikolousis, Consultant Haematologist Clinical Director, Heartlands Hospital, Heart of England Foundation Trust. Dr Ben Kennedy Consultant Haematologist at University Hospitals of Leicester, Dr Catherine Millington-Sanders (RCGP), Dr Rachael Marchant (RCGP). What communication tools can a healthcare professional develop to use his or her clinical skills most effectively and successfully acknowledge a patient’s concerns? What is the balance when it comes to efficient use of limited diagnostic resource? What are the communication issues around under and over investigation? What does an early diagnosis look and feel like for both the GP and the patient.  

  • 16.30 – 17.00 The Patient’s perspective – Kris Griffin, Leukaemia Care Trustee and Patient Expert. A personal experience, during diagnosis and living with a blood cancer, reliance and relationships with primary care, holistic needs and challenges.

RCGP Central and East of England

Date: 30th January 2019

Time: 12:30 – 17:00

Cost: £10 for members, £15 for non-members

Booking: Open now, book here 

Venue: IGEM Meeting and Conference Centre, IGEM House, High Street, Kegworth, Derbyshire DE74 2DA

Audience: Foundation Doctor, GP, GP trainee, GP trainer or educator, medical student, First5, Nurse, Nurse Practitioner, Practice Nurse, community pharmacist, clinical pharmacist.

The Royal College of General Practitioners in partnership with Leukaemia Care are hosting this participative workshop to empower primary care health professionals to recognise the vagaries involved in a rare blood cancer diagnosis and be up to date of appropriate referral pathways. The event also focuses on communication during diagnosis, establishing an action plan and appropriate after care.

Agenda (Subject to change) 

  • 12:00 -13.00 Registration and Lunch
  • 13: 00 – 13.05 -Introduction 
  • 13:05 – 13.20 ‘Spot Leukaemia’ campaign. Patient experience survey findings, ‘Spot Leukaemia’ awareness raising with general population and primary care, on-line RCGP learning modules
  • 13:20 – 14.10 Early diagnosis and influence on outcomes in the Modern Era. This early session will set the scene outlining epidemiology; classification of disease type and discuss varied presentations with case vignettes – look at outcomes in the modern era, while discussing the local and national burden of the different blood cancers on patients and the NHS. How do you practically encounter blood cancers and manage things in primary care?
  • 14:10 – 14.50 Emergency presentation, routes to diagnosis. Analysis of NCIN survey report work books andemergency diagnosis of cancer insights from linked patient survey data, to consider whether emergency presentations were preceded by patient contact with the healthcare system. Discussion to explore the emergency routes to diagnosis, consider missed diagnosis opportunities, poorer outcomes and evidence.
  • 14:50 – 15.15 GP perspective – Clinical care in practise, Discussion session to explore: early diagnosis opportunities, challenges and barriers to testing and speedy referral, Improved outcomes and the evidence.
  • 15:15 – 15.30 Tea break
  • 15:30 – 16.30 Clinical care in practice continued – doctor/patient communication during diagnosis, establishing an action plan, on-going holistic care –What communication tools can a healthcare professional develop to use his or her clinical skills most effectively and successfully acknowledge a patient’s concerns? What is the balance when it comes to efficient use of limited diagnostic resource? What are the communication issues around under and over investigation? What does an early diagnosis look and feel like for both the GP and the patient.
  • 16:30 – 17.00 The patient’s perspective

A personal experience, during diagnosis and living with a blood cancer, reliance and relationships with primary care, holistic needs and challenges.