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CCG is criticised for paying private firm to screen referrals

BMJ 2016; 355 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.i5765 (Published 26 October 2016) Cite this as: BMJ 2016;355:i5765
  1. Gareth Iacobucci
  1. The BMJ

The BMA has warned cash strapped clinical commissioning groups that they risk repeating the mistakes of the past if they seek to make financial savings by restricting GPs’ referrals to specialist care.

The warning came after concerns were raised about a new scheme in the north east of England where a private company is being paid to screen all GP referrals for cardiology, gynaecology, dermatology, ear, nose, and throat, gastroenterology, and ophthalmology care.

The rapid specialist opinion scheme, commissioned by North Durham Clinical Commissioning Group, is diverting all GP referrals in these specialties to be scrutinised by the private company About Health as part of an effort to save money by reducing …

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