Private Screening Investigations

It has become increasingly common for people, often with no symptoms, to have extensive “screening” investigations done in the private sector. This can be problematic for a number of reasons. 

  • Many of these tests would not be done in the NHS, and are lacking in evidence as useful screening tests. The normal reference ranges for many of the tests can be different from the ranges in NHS labs making it difficult to interpret
  • In many cases NHS GPs would not be familiar with interpreting the tests performed in the private sector in asymptomatic individuals. For these reasons, we would encourage people who have had private screening to make arrangements for follow-up of any abnormal results within the private sector, following the principle that the person arranging the tests should be responsible for following up any abnormal results
  • If you have had private tests which have identified a clearly abnormal result for which GP follow-up would normally be carried out within the NHS, we would be happy to discuss this with you in a routine face to face GP appointment. However we will not be able to discuss multiple mildly abnormal results, particularly from tests which would not have been arranged within the NHS
  • We would request that you not send us these reports. If there are clearly abnormal results that you have been advised requires GP follow up please make a routine GP appointment and bring along the relevant information.

The link below gives some advice about the pros and potential pitfalls of screening, we recommend you read this.