BMA meeting: GPs are being told to limit their hospital referrals, meeting hears

BMJ 2011; 342 doi: (Published 29 June 2011) Cite this as: BMJ 2011;342:d4093
  1. Nigel Hawkes
  1. 1Cardiff

Cuts in funding are squeezing the NHS, leading to operations being deferred, to postcode lotteries of care, and to unfilled vacancies in hospital staffing, the Annual Representative Meeting of the BMA heard this week.

In a series of debates, doctors drew attention to the many ways in which a flat budget in cash terms translates into a declining one in service terms. The most stirring speech came from Gillian Beck, a Buckinghamshire GP who said that she was now limited to four and a half referrals a week, including urgent ones.

She took representatives through a typical week. By the time Friday came, she was down to her last half referral when a …

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