GPs should be freed up to make more endoscopy referrals, cancer charity says

BMJ 2014; 348 doi: (Published 29 May 2014) Cite this as: BMJ 2014;348:g3602
  1. Adrian O’Dowd
  1. 1London

General practitioners should be allowed more flexibility and freedom to refer patients for endoscopy investigations, a leading charity has said.

In a report published on 28 May Bowel Cancer UK called for existing national GP guidelines on referring urgent suspected bowel cancer cases to be “liberalised.”1

The current guidelines from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) are not working well enough, said the charity. It raised concerns about endoscopy services, such as patients having difficulty in qualifying for an urgent referral, having to wait too long, and experiencing varying quality in treatment.

Bowel cancer is diagnosed in more than 40 000 people every year …

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