Feature Christmas 2010: Primary Care

Are there too many referral forms?

BMJ 2010; 341 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.c6576 (Published 13 December 2010) Cite this as: BMJ 2010;341:c6576
  1. Margaret McCartney, general practitioner,
  2. Philip Ewart, general practitioner,
  3. Christine Scott, secretary, Fulton Street Medical Centre, Glasgow
  1. margaret{at}margaretmccartney.com

One of us, MM, was harassed at the end of a surgery, trying to find a referral form in order to obtain same-day home care for a patient. She filled in the form by hand (with great effort, having long ago realised that the typed word was faster and more readily understood) and faxed it off. There followed protracted and (in her view) tedious discussions with the staff who had received the form and who were unwilling to accept the referral because it was written on “the wrong form.” The correct, up to date form was eventually faxed to the …

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