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24th January 2024

Direct access to diagnostic tests

NHSE has published ‘Enhancing GP direct access to diagnostic tests for patients with suspected chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, asthma, or heart failure’. This is non-clinical guidance for systems which should be helpful for LMCs in local discussions about availability of Spirometry, FENO and NT-proBNP.

It is clear that commissioners should continue with local services where they exist but that additional services should also be in place, which must be made available for GP referral via eRS.

NHSE has been explicit that they are not the commissioner of these services and decisions on exactly what is commissioned rests with local ICBs.

This guidance confirms that these services should be made available for all GPs to refer to, therefore clarifying that practices should not be expected to provide, unless appropriate funding is in place.