Charity Futures 1a: GP’s and cancer charities – Improving understanding and engagement with GP’s
  • January 12, 2018

Charity Futures 1a: GP’s and cancer charities – Improving understanding and engagement with GP’s

A new study has launched to enable leading charities to understand how GP’s and cancer charities can work together to better support patients with cancer.

The number of new cancer referrals and registrations is rising, with 296,863 new registrations in 20141, but recent changes to cancer services and the NHS mean that responsibilities are not always well defined, and capacity cannot always meet demand2. GPs have an important role to play in cancer care, though primary care is facing wider challenges with increased consultations and strain on the workforce.3

With this in mind, the Charity Futures 1: GP’s and cancer charities project aims to understand how specialist healthcare charities can support general practice to achieve improved prevention and screening, faster diagnosis and improved patient care.

Four cancer charities are part of the collaborative Charity Futures 1 project which will run over the next six months: Beating Bowel Cancer, The Brain Tumour Charity, Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation and the Teenage Cancer Trust.  Bringing charities together enables them to address common issues, share knowledge, learn from each other’s experiences and generate smarter solutions.

GP’s and Cancer Charities

The Charity Futures 1a: GP’s and cancer charities study will canvas the views of 200 GPs and use both quantitative and qualitative research methods. 

Alongside other leading cancer charities we are delighted to be involved in this research project, which will provide an evidence base to inform how we can work more effectively with general practitioners. GPs have a tough job and we in the third sector want to work with and alongside them in the interests of patients.Judith Brodie - Interim Chief Executive of Beating Bowel Cancer

GP’s and cancer charities project outcomes:

Field research has begun, and the final Charity Futures 1: GP’s and cancer charities report will be published by the end of February 2018.

Ben Hickman, Research Director at Alterline said: “At a time of increasing pressure on health services, this study will help cancer charities better understand how they can most effectively inform and support the work of frontline clinicians.”

The Charity Futures 1: GP’s and cancer charities project will explore:

  • the GP’s thoughts on how charities can support screening and diagnosis
  • identify what GPs need most from healthcare charities and how this can be best be delivered
  • how charities can ensure their engagement reduces rather than increases the burden of work for GPs
  • how charities could help with the wider issues and challenges facing primary care.

Ben added “We envisage the research informing evidence-led campaigns, shaping innovative tools for patients and, by bringing charities together, developing new ways to collectively engage GPs.”

Other work with GP’s and charities

Charity Futures 1 has two strands running in tandem.  The aims are similar but the other strand (Charity Futures 1b) focusses on how charities can support GPs in the prevention, diagnosis and management long-term conditions other than cancer and is supported by The British Heart Foundation, Alzheimer’s Society and Arthritis Research UK.

Interested in future projects?

If you’d like to discuss this project or would be interested in applying to be part of other projects, then please contact Jessica Flavell on 0161 605 0862 or e-mail



1 Brown et al., 2014; Office for National Statistics, 2017
2 Brown et al., 2014
3 Geelen, Krumeich, Schellevis, & van den Akker, 2014