Intended for healthcare professionals


Self referral to allied health professionals will prevent medical “merry-go-round”

BMJ 2008; 337 doi: (Published 22 October 2008) Cite this as: BMJ 2008;337:a2239
  1. Andrew Cole
  1. 1London

    Patients are to be allowed to bypass their GP and refer themselves directly to a physiotherapist or other therapist after a successful pilot programme for people with musculoskeletal problems.

    The move, announced this week by the health secretary, Alan Johnson, was welcomed by Phil Gray, chief executive of the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy, who said it would end the current “merry-go-round” between GP, consultant, and physiotherapists endured by many patients. The economic argument for managing the problem at source was “irrefutable,” he said.

    But the BMA questioned whether self referral would work without extra …

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