Urgent GP direct access to diagnostic services for people with symptoms not meeting the threshold for an urgent suspected cancer referral

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This guidance is not a clinical guideline.

It provides advice on the use of urgent direct access referrals to specific diagnostic tests where the threshold for referral under the urgent suspected cancer referral pathway – to a specialist or for urgent GP direct access testing – as outlined by National Institute for Health and Care Excellence guideline NG12 is not met.

This guidance is distinct from NG12 but should be considered alongside it.



The guidance supports the first phase of delivery and is aimed at and of interest to healthcare professionals in primary care, secondary care and service commissioners. It builds on Direct access to diagnostic tests for cancer (2012).

Published 7 September 2023.