Direct access to cancer diagnostics: the promise and perils of bypassing GPs

The Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Steve Barclay, has confirmed the UK government is considering plans to allow patients in England to bypass their GP and directly access some diagnostic tests for suspected cancer. The clinical and cost-effectiveness of these new diagnostic pathways must be compared with alternative solutions such as investing more in core NHS general practice services. My article in the British Medical Journal discusses some of the key issues and challenges in implementing this radical new policy.