‘The edge effect’: an exploratory study of some factors affecting referrals to cancer genetic services in rural Wales

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This exploratory study examines the role of rurality in referrals from primary care to the Cancer Genetics Service for Wales (CGSW) through a case study of referrals from Montgomeryshire, a predominantly rural area in mid-Wales located adjacent to the English border. Awareness of CGSW amongst practitioners is low. We found that rurality plays a role in referral behaviour as distance, time travelling and accessibility by car and public transport are all perceived to have an impact on the patient's decision to attend a clinic appointment. Some patients are being referred outside Wales as ease of access to services is considered more important than distance.

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