Right test, right place, right time; Implementing the BMUS Best Practice Guidelines

Pamela Parker, Ultrasound, Hull and East Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust, Hull.


All ultrasound service providers want to give the best care to their patients. Quality assessment and peer review can ensure that the patients receive a high quality examination performed by competent sonographers working in a service underpinned by education and development. However, all services are under pressure. With a year on year increase in demand for ultrasound imaging in the region of 7.2% since 2013 making best uses of all resources, be it staffing, appointment capacity or hardware is paramount in the delivery of a cost effective, efficient and effective ultrasound service.

Locally, a significant peak in demand of 24% in 2015/16 was realised. At this point action was required as additional resources in terms of staffing and room capacity could not be sourced. It was recognised that implementing the BMUS Best Practice Guidelines to justify referrals may aid in demand management.


Following discussion and agreement with the local Clinical Commissioning Group the BMUS guidelines were implemented in February 2017. Since then, any referrals deemed inappropriate are returned to the referrer with advice and guidance of either alternative imaging or more appropriate actions required.


Between February and June 2017 11917 GP referrals were received. Of these

  • 946 cancelled as inappropriate
  • 94 changed modality or had subsequent US imaging following further information
  • This has resulted in a real decrease in imaging activity of 7.5%


This poster will outline the process followed to ensure that educating referrers is at the heart of the demand management. The ultimate goal of this process is to ensure patients receive right test in the right place at the right time.

View the Poster here