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Cash strapped CCG plans to halt non-urgent referrals

BMJ 2016; 354 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.i4384 (Published 09 August 2016) Cite this as: BMJ 2016;354:i4384
  1. Anne Gulland
  1. London

Fears over potential risks to patients have been raised after a clinical commissioning group (CCG) in England proposed suspending all non-urgent referrals to secondary care, in a bid to save at least £2.5m (€3m; $3.3m) over the current financial year.

In its two year financial recovery plan, published at the beginning of August, St Helens CCG, in Merseyside, proposed a temporary halt on all non-urgent referrals to secondary care for four months during the coming winter. Clinically urgent referrals, suspected cancer, and referrals of sick children would not be affected. The CCG has to make £12.5m worth of savings this financial year and £17.5m in 2017-18 to balance its budget.

St Helens CCG told …

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