All GP practices in England will be able to book cancer tests directly for their patients from later this month, NHS bosses say.
The option of GPs booking CT scans, ultrasounds and MRIs has been gradually rolled out in recent years, as community testing centres have opened.
NHS England chief executive Amanda Pritchard will announce later all GPs will now be able to do this.
GPs have previously relied on referring on to specialist hospital doctors. Before referring, they have to identify clear symptoms the patient may have a specific type of cancer.
But only one out of every five cancer cases is diagnosed through these urgent GP referrals. Patients with less clear symptoms face long waits for check-ups or are diagnosed only after presenting at an accident-and-emergency (A&E) unit or being referred to hospital for something else.
And Ms Pritchard will tell delegates at the NHS Providers annual conference of health managers, in Liverpool, today, she hopes the new initiative will lead to tens of thousands of cancer cases every year being detected sooner.
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Source: BBC News, 16 November 2022