The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has today published a Quality Standard for Suspected Cancer.
The Quality Standard follows the publication of new Referral Guidelines for Suspected Cancer in June last year and will help ensure the Referral Guidelines are effectively implemented as well as setting out areas for prioritisation.
We are pleased to see GP direct access to diagnostic tests, including CT scans included in the Quality Standard. This is important as CT scans can image the whole of the pancreas, meaning they are a more accurate investigative test than ultrasounds which can only image the head and can produce both false positive and negative results. Ensuring all GPs have direct access to diagnostic tests would alleviate pressure on secondary care and help speed up diagnosis. It will nonetheless be important to ensure that the NHS has the imaging capacity to implement direct access.
Read more about the NICE Referral Guidelines and our thoughts on them here.