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Significant Event Analysis GP Guide: Early Diagnosis of Cancer

Published: 22nd December 2016

This guide will support GPs and colleagues in primary care teams to undertake an effective Cancer Significant Event Analysis (SEA), and identify any potential improvements in practice systems using documentation or proactive safety netting.

Download Significant Event Analysis GP Guide: Early Diagnosis of Cancer

A Cancer SEA done well is worth the effort for the benefits it can bring for clinicians, patients, the practice as a whole and the primary-secondary care interface. Describing and analysing a significant event is an important skill that may be scrutinised at CQC inspections, appraisal and revalidation.

Whilst Cancer SEAs are not a measure of performance management, the challenge for quality improvement work is to involve the practices that need it most. A CCG-wide Cancer SEA project may generate the ‘nudge’ across the board towards reflective thinking and quality improvement.

The Cancer SEA enhances the reflective process by prompting the clinician to deconstruct the journey to diagnosis and unpick themes that can lead to a range of improvements, such as modifying practice systems, improving documentation or proactive safety netting.

Whether clinical, administrative or organisational, the SEA process enables the following questions to be answered:
What happened and why?
What was the impact on those involved (patient, carer, family, GP, practice)?
How could things have been different?
What can we learn from what happened?
What needs to change?

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