AQP Ultrasound

The aim of the AQP service is to aid early diagnostics and avoid the need for unnecessary referral to secondary care clinicians for conditions that can be appropriately managed with a Primary Care setting or to support the shift of activity in to a primary care setting, where this will improve access. Where there are clear secondary care clinical guidelines with ultrasound as a core component, it is more appropriate for this diagnostic to be undertaken as an integral part of the clinical pathway.


An AQP diagnostic may be appropriate where the result will support the management of the patient in a primary care setting. Referrers should consider the basis on which the request for a diagnostic is being made - the AQP diagnostic service is a single episode of care, for routine imaging which will be undertaken within a maximum of 20 working days of acceptance of the referral.

AQP scans for:

  • Patients 18 years and over
  • NHS patients
  • General upper abdomen including assessment of:
    • Aorta
    • Bilary tract
    • Gallbladder
    • Inferior vena cave
    • Kidneys
    • Liver
    • Pancreas
    • Spleen
  • Gynaecology (including transvaginal and transabdominal)
  • Musculoskeletal (except where an intervention may be required e.g +/- injection)
  • Renal/Bladder
  • Scrotal/ Testicular

Out of scope

  • Urgent scans
  • Under 18 years old
  • Non- NHS patients
  • Any patients with suspected cancer
  • Obstetric care
  • Ultrasound guided procedures
  • Scans for:
    • Breast
    • Cardiac imaging
    • Chest
    • Ophthalmology
    • Superficial masses or lumps in the neck, axilla or groin (including hernia's)
    • Thyroid
    • Retroperitoneum
    • Vascular

For any scans that are out of scope please direct these requests to the local acute Radiology team.


Referral Criteria

  • GP, GPwSI or ESP requests only
  • Routine scans only
  • Ultrasound requests for new scans only (follow ups are not available under AQP)
  • Include a reason for referral
  • Complete the AQP Ultrasound referral form (selecting one scan per referral)
  • Referrers professional registration code code and contact details must be included (all reports are submitted to the referrer directly)

Referrals submitted without this information may be returned.

Referral Instructions

GP referrals should complete all fields of the referral form and be directed to DRSS using the e-Referral Service.

  • Specialty: Diagnostic Imaging
  • Clinic Type: Ultrasound
  • Service: DRSS-Western-AQP-Non-Obstetric Ultrasound(NOUS)-Diagnostic Imaging- DEVON CCG-15N

ESP and GPwSI colleagues should complete all fields of the referral form and send to DRSS via email

Referral Forms

AQP Ultrasound Referral Form

Supporting Information

Patient Information

  • Any Ultrasound diagnostic result will be managed by the referrer
  • All AQP referrals will be booked using the Devon Referral Support Services (DRSS) who will offer the patient a choice of appointment location, date and time of providers within New Devon CCG & South Devon & Torbay CCG areas
  • Appointments will be available within 20 days of referral and patients should be ready, willing and able to be seen within this time. Patients who are not ready to be seen should be delayed until such time as when they will be ready to be seen within this time frame
  • Patients will be contacted by their chosen provider prior to their appointment and provided with any appointment instructions for their scan type
  • Each patient should receive a letter of confirmation from their chosen provider detailing any important appointment instructions

Any queries relating to a referral can be directed to:

DRSS Helpdesk on 01626 883 888

Pathway Group

This is an administrative guideline created by DRSS to support referral process as outlined by NEW Devon CCG.

Publication date: January 2018


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