Intended for healthcare professionals


BMA says referral schemes are used to restrict access to hospitals

BMJ 2006; 332 doi: (Published 02 March 2006) Cite this as: BMJ 2006;332:504
  1. Rebecca Coombes
  1. London

    Referral management schemes are being used to ration treatment and delay access to secondary care, the BMA warned this week. The schemes are set up by primary care trusts to vet individual GPs' decisions to refer a patient for hospital treatment.

    In extreme cases, trusts are using clerks to judge whether a GP is appropriately referring a patient. In other cases, the schemes are being used as holding centres, to impose a delay on making referrals, the BMA has claimed.

    The schemes, which have …

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