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Many thanks to Dr Bamji for his wonderful letter. As a Gp and GPwSI, I regularly see both sides of the referral equation. I would be amazed to discover that there were sufficient "incompetent" GPs making "unnecessary referrals" to recoup the finances that NHSE are hoping for (and unfortunately offsetting by paying for referrals to be reviewed). I would be equally amazed to discover multitudes of "incompetent" clinicians in hospitals deliberately discharging patients unsafely and prematurely or indeed delaying their discharge and exposing them to the consequent risks of prolonged stays in hospital.
Perhaps NHSE would save more money by reviewing hospital discharges in a similar fashion? NHSE's approach is demeaning to GPs. If they want GPs to receive more education then most of us would welcome this. However, the way things are now in General Practice makes this difficult to achieve unless NHSE reduces the pressures on us. My hospital colleagues are just as frustrated as my GP colleagues and I don't often hear them complaining about "unnecessary referrals". NHSE please come sit in my surgery and see if you could do better! Or like me, do you not have sufficient time or resources to do so?