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Official app to make Scottish cancer referral process easier

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A new “app” intended to help GPs, nurses and pharmacists with referrals for patients suspected of having cancer has been launched in Scotland.

The mobile phone application, developed with health professionals and patients, is available to download for free via the Apple and Google app stores.

“This app… will make it easier and quicker for doctors, pharmacists and senior nurses to access information on referral for those suspected of having cancer”

Shona Robison

It features a “quick reference guide” for health professionals dealing with patients suspected of having cancer, said the Scottish Government.

Following a review of the Scottish Referral Guidelines for Suspected Cancer in 2014, a hard copy of the quick reference guide was sent to all GP practices, pharmacists, prisons and NHS 24.

But “ongoing demand” for the guide prompted the government to commission the Scottish Centre for Enabling Technologies, based at the University of the West of Scotland, to develop an app.

The guide is continually updated when Wi-Fi is available, providing clinicians with the “latest information available as quickly as possible”, said the Scottish Government, which invested £12,000 in developing the app.

Health professionals are also use the guide offline, if they are in a remote area, or doing a home visit to a patient, the government said. It also includes information on symptoms and signs and images.


Shona Robison

Shona Robison

Scottish health secretary Shona Robison said: “This app, which has been developed in partnership with health professionals and patients, will make it easier and quicker for doctors, pharmacists and senior nurses to access information on referral for those suspected of having cancer.

“Improving the number of patients diagnosed at an early stage will reduce premature deaths from cancer and have a positive effect on overall life expectancy,” she said. “I would therefore urge all relevant health professionals to download and use this free app.”

She added: “We are currently working with stakeholder groups and patients to develop our new cancer plan which is due to published by spring 2016 – ahead of the dissolution of parliament.”

The app is available to download by using the key words “cancer referral guidelines” in the Apple App store and Google store.

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