In response to the recent national drive to improve detection of cancer by expanding GP direct access to diagnostics, Transforming Cancer Services has been working with London clinical and ICS leaders on a project to develop a shared understanding of the issues preventing uptake of direct access imaging by GPs across the city.
The national directive is focused on patients who have concerning symptoms but don’t warrant an urgent cancer referral. Consequently, we are focusing on ensuring that all GPs have effective, timely access to direct access CT and ultrasound scans in line with NICE guidelines.
Issues identified through the London-wide research project include:
- a lack of locally available services;
- IT inter-connectivity issues;
- over-stretched services to deliver imaging;
- a lack of clarity amongst GPs about the services available.
None of the issues are universal, and all London ICS’s already have plans in motion to address gaps in coverage and availability within their respective areas. As a region, we are working closely with a central clinical team and our colleagues in each ICS to ensure that best practice is shared and the most clinically relevant services are prioritised.
We’ll continue to share updates over the coming months.