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PCRS Diagnostic Service Specification

Patients with respiratory symptoms and disease deserve a correct diagnosis and correct guideline driven care that is standardized, patient focused, delivered by a Health Care Professional (HCP) with suitable training and experience, at a site and within an appropriate timeframe to meet their needs. Sadly, patient groups such as the British Lung Foundation (BLF) and Asthma UK have recognised that too often this is not the case. The Respiratory Service Framework (RSF) developed by the Primary Care Respiratory Society (PCRS) attempts to demonstrate both the scope and detail of what can be delivered at a population level The RSF builds on the work previously undertaken by PCRS to develop a series of care standards for GP practices as part of its Quality Award programme. With the rise of integrated care systems and general practice at scale, commissioners and service development managers tell us they are keen to improve care and reduce variability but needed a starting point.

The PCRS recommended approach to developing a network focused diagnostic service specification, is one element of this framework and has been written specifically to assist those looking to establish a patient-focused respiratory symptom diagnostic service locally.

The work has been designed to encourage and support the development of diagnostic hubs or other appropriate systems such as have been recommended in the NHSE Long Term plan. The population size would be that described in the Primary Care Network (PCN) or Integrated Care System (ICS) level.

The benefits of diagnostic services have been recognised by commissioners and indeed many areas have already started to plan their development and this suggested approach provides a template to aid that process, ensure standardisation and encourage high standards.