News

Coroner calls for GPs to be allowed to order urgent CT scans after patient death

BMJ 2017; 357 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.j2815 (Published 09 June 2017) Cite this as: BMJ 2017;357:j2815

Re: Coroner calls for GPs to be allowed to order urgent CT scans after patient death

This type of proclamation from a Coroner is unhelpful. There is an implication that the GPs should have done a CT scan but didn't have the ability to request one. However, the A&E department did have access to CT but sent the patient home. Therefore, the call for GPs to have access to CT doesn't make sense. It also looks at an isolated case and makes assumptions and demands that would apply to a large population. It assumes that all GPs want direct access to advanced tests. In many cases such access will result in a great number of patients demanding that their GP sends them for a CT when presenting with vague symptoms. This increases GP workload and also means that GPs will still have to deny many patients a CT and could still end up missing such a case. In my experience this often serves to pass the liability of missed diagnosis onto already overworked and burnt out GPs, but with no evidence of increased patient safety.

Competing interests: No competing interests

17 June 2017
Kaiser Chaudhri
GP &a Medico-Legal Expert Witness
2 Broadway, Preston