Chemists will fast-track patients for NHS cancer scans – without having to see a GP first
- Pharmacies will be able to refer customers to specialists for scans and checks
- High street pharmacies and nurses can also issue sick notes from July 1
- Chief executive of NHS England unveils plan at the NHS conference today
High street pharmacies will be paid to spot signs of cancer in a drive to catch more tumours early and ease pressure on GPs.
They will be able to refer customers directly to specialists for scans and checks on the NHS without the need to see a family doctor first.
It is hoped the scheme will save lives by identifying symptoms people were unaware could be signs of cancer, enabling them to get treatment. From this month, roaming ‘liver trucks’ will also start to offer on-the-spot scans in town centres for people most at risk of getting liver cancer.
Amanda Pritchard, chief executive of NHS England, will outline the plans at the NHS Confed Expo conference in Liverpool today.
The scheme will save lives by identifying symptoms people were unaware could be signs of cancer and get them seen by a specialist sooner
The NHS has committed to increasing the proportion of cancers caught early from one in two to three in four, increasing survival chances and making treatment easier.
It comes after it was announced pharmacies and nurses would be given powers to issue sick notes from July 1.
The law will be changed so patients no longer need to see their family doctor to be signed off work, freeing up millions of GP appointments.