Lansley backs commissioning to solve diagnostic scan access problems

The problem of PCTs imposing blanket bans on GP direct access to diagnostic scans could be solved by commissioning, according to health secretary Andrew Lansley.

Mr Lansley:  ‘We’ve always been clear that commissioners decisions on access to treatment must be sensitive to clinical needs. They can’t be based on blanket restrictions'
Mr Lansley: ‘We’ve always been clear that commissioners decisions on access to treatment must be sensitive to clinical needs. They can’t be based on blanket restrictions'

Last week an exclusive GP investigation found that GPs are facing heightened scrutiny over use of diagnostic scans, as PCTs scrap direct access to save costs.

Five PCTs had decommissioned some direct access schemes to key diagnostic scans, such as MRI, CT and ultrasound. Our investigation includes full results from 116 PCTs.

Speaking at an joint NHS Alliance and National Association of Primary Care event in London, including representatives of half of England’s pathfinders yesterday, Mr Lansley said:  ‘We’ve always been clear that commissioners' decisions on access to treatment must be sensitive to clinical needs. They can’t be based on blanket restrictions.

‘One of the benefits of moving decision making closer to patients is that GPs are able to make decisions for clinical reasons. It  is a better way of managing resources to think about the needs of individual patients.’

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