Patients needing urgent scans should be seen within a week of being referred by their GP and routine screenings should be carried out with two weeks of a referral, an RCGP guide on access to diagnostic imaging states.
The RCGP, The Society and College of Radiographers and The Royal College of Radiologists have jointly issued Quality imaging services for primary care: a good practice guide, to help speed up the referrals process and to ease anxiety for patients.
The organisations believe that primary care and radiology clinicians need to improve their ‘clinical relationship and dialogue’ because some patients wait too long for an appointment and to receive their results.
RCGP chair Dr Clare Gerada said: ‘By working together and using this guidance, GPs, radiologist and radiographers can really make a difference to patients needing scans, be they urgent or routine. It will help clinical commissioning groups to highlight where current services need to change and where they could become more localised.