Coroner calls for GPs to be allowed to order urgent CT scans after patient death

22nd June 2017

Lisa Hashmi, area coroner for Manchester North, demanded a change in rules that stop NHS GPs in some areas ordering urgent computerised tomography (CT) scans, after the death of a 37 year old woman from a brain tumour.

The warning came in a report sent to Bury clinical commissioning group on the death of Elaine Talbot, whose brain tumour was missed by her GP and hospital doctors. The inability of Mrs Talbot’s GP to directly request a CT scan was partly blamed for the problem. Hashmi commented that having the ability to order such a scan may prevent deaths in the future, stating “in my opinion there is a risk that future deaths will occur unless action is taken”. 

One of our medical negligence solicitors, Christian Beadell commented on the coroner’s recent demands, “Direct access by Primary care providers to essential diagnostic tools must be factored in to future NHS budgeting. The need to have a consultant referral can introduce significant delays which can contribute to worsening patient outcomes. When the current system is not ensuring patient safety, it needs to be changed.”

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