This site is intended for health professionals only

At the heart of general practice since 1960

pul jul aug2020 cover 80x101px
Read the latest issue online

Independents' Day

Report this comment to a moderator

Please fill in the form below if you think a comment is unsuitable. Your comments will be sent to our moderator for review.

Report comment to moderator

Required fields.


Patients to book own chest X-rays under new cancer self-referral pilot


I asked for a CT scan on a patient who was losing weight, unable to swallow and had been on fluids for 18 days. He had been cleared by 2ww upper GI; the only finding I had in hand was a palpable supraclavicular lymph node so I asked for a CXR. This was normal. I persisted with a request for CT Chest and abdo but recd a letter from Radiology declining and suggesting I contact a hosp Physician as do not accept CT referrals from GP. A few days later the hosp Consultant wrote to all GPs expressing concern regarding unwarranted urgent referrals - I wonder whether this was related. Suffice to say nothing was done. I re-refd the patient to 2ww upper GI for a reviiw - Pt now diagnosed with Oesophageal Tu with metas and still waiting for treatment after 4 months. The point is: 1. A hosp doctor can request CT/MRI if concerns but is a GP so studpid that he has no right to request one. The arrogant and fallacious approach of Trusts and Consultants needs to change. I find it hard to believe that we are still regarded as a second rate profession by Consultants - with due respect to the knowledgeable and pragmatic ones- who can't see anything further than their speciality of chest, bones or whatever. Is it economically sensible to refer to a rheumatologist for an anti-CCP antibody test just because you are not allowed to request one because 'you are just a GP'? I think, if that is the approach to general practice, NHSE might as well allow all patients to self-refer to 'Specialists'. Brings to mind an incident where a young lady with persisting lower abdo pain went through a hysterectomy due to 'endometriosis' but the pain did not settle. She then went on to have an MRI if was revealed that she had a spine bifida that needed attention. Another where the patient was treated for years by a 'Specialist' with fibromyalgia while the cause was Addison's disease and diagnosis made later in primary care by the 'stupid' GP.

Posted date

18 Jan 2015

Posted time