2.4.2 Communication with patients, carers and families

The general practitioner is responsible for:

  • providing patients, and their families and carers 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
  • supporting the patient while waiting for the specialist appointment (Cancer Council 13 11 20 and Leukaemia Foundation 1800 953 081 are available to act as a point of information and reassurance during the anxious period of awaiting further diagnostic information).

Patients can also visit the Leukaemia Foundation’s website  or call 1800 620 420 for emotional and practical support.

More information

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