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Independents' Day

GPs get greater diagnostic access under Darzi plans

GPs are to be handed greater access to diagnostic tests and other hospital services under plans released by SHAs for implementing Lord Darzi's vision for the NHS.

Four SHAs – NHS Yorkshire and the Humber, NHS East of England, NHS South West and NHS South Central – have revealed 10-year plans for meeting priorities set out by Lord Darzi.

Each has pledged to provide GPs with direct access to diagnostic tests in the community, and have pointed towards further work at a national level to unbundle hospital tariffs in order to provide fairer payments for clinical work done outside of hospitals.

In addition to general commitments to prioritise access to community-based diagnostic services, NHS East of England will also provide some blood tests and more complex diagnostic scans in primary care.

The document promises ‘where the diagnostic results can be assessed by a GP they will be and GPs will be able to refer directly for surgery depending on the nature of the diagnosis and treatment required'.

NHS Yorkshire and the Humber also revealed plans to encourage local organisations to ‘make full use of the tariff to promote new ways of working'.

The plans set out the means for GPs to provide lifestyle checks for all patients aged 40-74 to detect cardiovascular risk factors, in line with the Government's plans. Pilots of patient personal budgets will also be introduced.

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