Royal colleges to examine scan access

The RCGP will work with radiologists to assess which diagnostic scans can be best provided by general practice, after GPs were handed control of referrals for cancer tests.

The college will work with the Royal College of Radiologists (RCR) to produce a guide detailing how GPs can best use radiology services.

The aim is to encourage closer working between GPs and radiologists, with an emphasis on improved communication.

Later this week, Health Secretary Andrew Lansley will grant GPs the power to send patients for cancer tests without the need for specialist referral.

Commenting on the joint venture, RCGP chair Dr Clare Gerada, said: ‘This work really is a leap forward in the care provided to patients by their GP.

‘Linking up with local hospitals to provide faster and improved imaging services has been the aspiration of many surgeries for some time. We are confident it will help speed up the process for patients.’

Dr Tony Nicholson, dean of the Faculty of Radiology of the RCR, said the venture could improve the quality and cost effectiveness of the service patients receive.

The seventh edition of the RCGP guidelines, Making the best use of radiology services, will be published in 2011.
Stephen Robinson

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