Survival times for prostate cancer have increased substantially, meaning more survivors will be discharged to General Practitioners’ (GP) services. The detection of recurrence and monitoring of symptoms and long-term side-effects in prostate cancer survivors requires the active involvement of GPs in their follow-up care. In order to address this, the transition and discharge from hospital to primary care must be managed effectively. The objective of this study was to examine the preparedness, concerns and experiences of GPs in relation to their role in providing follow-up care to prostate cancer survivors. Purposive sampling was used to recruit GPs with experience in providing care to prostate cancer survivors. Twenty semi-structured telephone interviews were conducted with GPs across England. The interviews were audio-recorded, transcribed verbatim and analysed using thematic analysis. Participants described their current role in the follow-up pathway, a number of challenges and barriers in assuming this role, and potential ways to resolve these and improve their involvement. They expressed a range of views about their preparedness and willingness to take over follow-up care after discharge for this group of patients. GPs had reservations about workload, lack of resources, expertise and deficiencies in communication with hospitals. Findings from this study suggest that GPs will be ready to take over the follow-up care of prostate cancer survivors if better information, additional training and adequate resources are provided and communication lines with hospital specialists are clear. Understanding the issues faced by GPs and overcoming identified barriers to providing follow-up care to prostate cancer survivors will provide the insight necessary to make the process of transferring care from secondary to primary teams a more straightforward task for all stakeholders.
© 2020 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.