Regional Oncology Programme Office

GP Cancer Referral Guidelines

GP referral guidelines are an essential part of the development of any cancer service.  They provide a clear map of cancer services across the region and aim to assist the general practitioner in his/her referral decisions relating to cancer.

The Regional Oncology Programme Office created and developed the General Practitioner Cancer Referral Guidelines booklet for the South West of Dublin over 5 years ago.

This was the first time that 11 site-specific guidelines had been agreed across one of the largest cancer networks in the country.  The agreement of these guidelines highlights the strong commitment of cancer professionals in the acute hospitals to enhance the communication process with their partners in care in primary care. 

Speaking about the project, Professor John Reynolds, Regional Director, Cancer Services stated, “The Development of these GP Referral Guidelines for suspected cancer, build on the existing resources within our cancer region. Developing partnerships with primary care in a structured and easy to use manner is a key quality improvement initiative’

Dr Michael Boland, Director Post Graduate Resource Centre, Irish College of General Practitioners said “We welcome the work done by the Regional Oncology Programme Office in the production of these guidelines we believe they are going to make the job of GPs somewhat easier and make them more effective.  Ultimately patients will benefit from these guidelines. It’s an example of cooperation between the hospitals and General Practice and that is to be welcomed.”

The Regional Oncology Programme Office recommended that guidelines like these should be rolled out on a National basis through the new cancer strategy structures and that it is essential that these guidelines are reviewed and updated on a regular basis.  

Currently the HSE National Cancer Control Programme (HSE -NCCP) have taken the Regional Oncology Programme Office Guidelines project and are working on developing this project in different ways nationally and on making them available online through healthlink.

To download a copy of the guidelines please go to the following link: