2.4.2 Communication with patients, carers and families

The general practitioner is responsible for:

  • providing patients with information that clearly describes to whom they are being referred, the reason for referral and the expected timeframes for appointments
  • requesting that patients notify them if the specialist has not been in contact within the expected timeframe
  • considering referral options for patients living rurally or remotely without delaying the referral
  • supporting patients and carers while waiting for the specialist appointment and/or diagnosis confirmation (Camp Quality 1300 662 267, Cancer Council 13 11 20, Canteen 1800 835 932, Leukaemia Foundation 1800 953 081 and Redkite 1800 733 548 are available to act as a point of information and reassurance during the anxious period of awaiting further diagnostic information).

More information

Refer to Principle 6 ‘Communication’ for communication skills training programs and resources.