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£25m funding for direct GP access to cancer diagnostics

By Laura Passi

The Department of Health has announced an additional £25m funding for GP access to cancer diagnostics from next year.

Health secretary Andrew Lansley said an additional £25 million in 2011/12 will fund direct GP access to non-obstetric ultrasound, flexible sigmoidoscopy, colonoscopy and brain MRI scans at the Britain Against Cancer conference yesterday.

The funding will help to reduce late diagnosis of cancer, which largely explains England’s survival rates for many cancers lagging behind the EU average.

Mr Lansley, speaking at the conference, said: ‘A typical GP may see only eight or nine new patients with cancer every year, but they may see hundreds presenting with symptoms that could be cancer.’

‘So we need to give them the support, the resources and the authority they need to reduce delays in diagnosis. And that includes fast and direct access to the right diagnostic tests.’

Non-obstetric ultrasound to diagnose ovarian cancer