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Does the GP have the right to refuse a CT scan?

I am a NHS patient. I have problems with my spine. One and a half years ago I had a CT scan, but since then I can feel that my illness has got worse. I have asked my GP to have another CT scan, but the GP refused. Does the GP have the right to refuse another CT scan?


  • Well, yes , if they don't feel its necessary.

    You could try getting a second opinion if you feel strongly about it but they should have explained to you why they have made their decision. Its not a question of refusing, you present symptoms and they use their skill to decide on a course of action, you can't really just tell them what what treatment you want.
  • chokolat2chokolat2 Forumite
    438 Posts
    thanks for your reply. The only reason I am asking is because the pain has got worse since the last scan, and there still has not been any treatment assigned..
  • MrsMandaMrsManda Forumite
    4.5K Posts
    chokolat2 wrote: »
    thanks for your reply. The only reason I am asking is because the pain has got worse since the last scan, and there still has not been any treatment assigned..

    Is your GP aware that your symptoms have got worse?
    You need speak to her about your symptoms and concerns and discuss what steps may be taken to find the cause/lessen the pain, rather than demanding another CT scan as this may not be the best way to identify a problem.
  • easyeasy Forumite
    2.4K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Name Dropper Combo Breaker
    Right so you had a scan. Did that result in you getting a diagnosis of what is causing your pain? Do you understand what the diagnosis is? If not, you need to go back to your Dr and get your diagnosius, and make sure you understand it.

    Have you had no treatment at all? If not, do you understand why not? Ask these questions, and make sure you understand the answers. If you don't, you won't get (nor in my opinion will you desrve) the treatment you need. It is YOUR body, you need to take responsibility for it, and that includes understanding what the medics say and do - or don't do- with it.

    Personally, I believe that you should avoid having any scans/x-rays unless they are necessary. All these procedures subject you to radiation of one form or another, and that is best avoided unless there is a good diagnostic reason for having it done.
    I try not to get too stressed out on the forum. I won't argue, i'll just leave a thread if you don't like what I say. :)
  • nashlynashly Forumite
    384 Posts
    I thought scans just used magnets ?
  • nashly wrote: »
    I thought scans just used magnets ?

    Bit more than that, it's a giant X Ray machine. Have a look here
    Opinions are like bottoms - We all have one, just some stink more than others

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  • tanithtanith Forumite
    8.1K Posts
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    I agree with easy , if you have a diagnosis then question your doctor as to why there is no treatment for you before you undergo any more CT scans..
    #6 of the SKI-ers Club :j

    "All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing" Edmund Burke
  • bertiebatbertiebat Forumite
    310 Posts
    Part of the Furniture Combo Breaker
    nashly wrote: »
    I thought scans just used magnets ?

    You are thinking of MRI scans. These don't involve radiation and are sometimes an even better alternative to a CT scan for back problems (but then again they are even more expensive).

    I'm also in agreement with easy's post on this one!
    Just in case you were wondering (some have)..... I'm a woman!
  • puddle96puddle96 Forumite
    123 Posts
    Part of the Furniture 100 Posts
    Nowadays MRI is considered the Gold standard for spinal problems.
    CT (x-rays) is somewhat limitedly useful if MRI is unavailable, in case of accidents - have you had an accident and possibly broken your neck for example, if you can't tolerate MRI - many can't or is MRI simply unsafe for you-example do you have a pacemaker?. It is many years since I CT scanned a patient for any other reason.
    Both CT and MRI are expensive tests and are very limited resources with long waiting lists. Many NHS hospitals will no longer accept GP referrals because of this.
    AS others have pointed out you need to be asking your GP what is their diagnosis and who can you refer me to (who may require and be able to access these tests) to help me manage my problem
  • After I was referred for a scan by my Physiotherapist as an emergency, the Rheumatologist told me that there is such a long waiting list for scans that they normally only carry them out on backs when they are at the point of deciding whether to operate or not and to have one to establish whether there is nerve impingement or not i.e. using it as a diagnotic tool, is considered unecessary.

    I did however, find the exercises that the physio gave me extremely helpful and have been doing them daily for several years. Maybe you could ask whether a physio referral might be helpful for you?
    I must go, I have lives to ruin and hearts to break :D
    My attitude depends on my Latitude 49° 55' 0" N 6° 19' 60 W
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