Intended for healthcare professionals


Restricting direct GP referrals must not be a barrier to care, says RCGP

BMJ 2023; 382 doi: (Published 21 September 2023) Cite this as: BMJ 2023;382:p2187
  1. Gareth Iacobucci
  1. The BMJ

Plans to ask GPs to discuss most of their non-urgent cases with a hospital consultant before they refer patients must not be a “barrier” to accessing timely care, the Royal College of General Practitioners has cautioned.

The HSJ (Health Service Journal) has reported that NHS leaders are considering a major expansion of the “advice and guidance” (A&G) pathway,1 as part of a new national strategy for outpatient services that is due to be published later this year.2

The A&G pathway, which has been used voluntarily in parts of England for several years, requires GPs to send a patient’s details to a specialist in that …

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