Guidance for commissioners

Why invest in radiology services?

  • Imaging is central to many diagnoses
  • Direct access to imaging leads to timely diagnosis or disease exclusion
  • Early diagnosis shortens patient management pathways
  • Radiologists are trained to advise on the optimal imaging investigation pathway
  • The use of imaging guidelines (MBUR7*) is supported by NHS Evidence
  • Early exclusion of serious pathology empowers referrer and patient
  • Reduces inappropriate specialist referrals
  • Treatment is earlier and appropriate
  • Best use of available funding
  • This summary lists the indicated investigations for guidelines which relate to the most common presentations in primary care. This list is based on investigations rather than the clinical problems to facilitate the commissioning process. It is not intended as a GP’s substitute for RCR referral guidelines but rather for those commissioning diagnostics wishing to know which essential radiological investigations to commission. The relevant RCR referral guideline is shown, with links to other related UK guidelines. Commissioners may choose to include other specialised investigations, such as MRI shoulder, which are often resource-intensive and usually only undertaken after discussion with the radiologist or in the context of locally agreed protocols.


Imaging guidance for GP commissioning