Intended for healthcare professionals


Self referral for cancer tests is to be piloted in England

BMJ 2015; 350 doi: (Published 13 January 2015) Cite this as: BMJ 2015;350:h185
  1. Jacqui Wise
  1. 1London

Patients will have the option to refer themselves for diagnostic tests without going through a GP as part of an early diagnosis programme for cancer, NHS England has announced.

It also announced that a new independent taskforce will develop a five year action plan for cancer services to improve survival rates and that stereotactic ablative radiotherapy will be made more widely available to patients with cancer in England.

The early diagnosis programme, run jointly with Cancer Research UK and Macmillan Cancer Support, will test new approaches to expedite cancer diagnosis. The programme has identified more than 60 potential projects to tackle late diagnosis, which will be led locally by NHS teams. They will be evaluated and then could be implemented nationally from 2016-17.

The projects include giving GPs direct access to diagnostic tests, such as computerised tomography and ultrasonography, lowering referral thresholds for GPs, and creating bespoke clinics …

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