Call for GPs to investigate headache problems

GPs should be given direct access to CT scans to investigate patients who present with headache for any serious underlying problems, say researchers. NICE Fellows Dr David Kernick, a GP, and Stuart Williams, a consultant radiologist,suggest that allowing GPs direct access to neuroimaging would help them to assess whether the headache is the result of an underlying cause, such as a brain tumour. Writing in the British Journal of General Practice, they say that the move could help to save money by dramatically reducing the number of referrals made to secondary care. Although only a small number of patients who present with headache will have a serious problem, headache is the most common cause of neurological referral to secondary care.

Source: NICE
Date: 4 November 2011