Intended for healthcare professionals

Rapid response to:


Defending referrals between consultants

BMJ 2006; 332 doi: (Published 09 February 2006) Cite this as: BMJ 2006;332:371

Rapid Response:

Support with reservations

Our local GP Association has generally not been in favour of direct
consultation between specialists. My own feeling is that, in a hospital
setting, such a practice is the most efficient and hardly one to be
debated. In the out-patient clinic, however, unless the situation demands
very urgent referral, the family doctor ought to be involved.

The position here may be somewhat different. Perhaps the ethics of
the profession in the UK differ from those here, but it is not uncommon
for the patient's GP to be completely unaware of the investigations,
management or outcome of the patient's illness. It then becomes somewhat
embarassing to have the patient appear months later (in the midst of this
cross referral, or worse, long after)with no information from either

There would be little or no problem if information was fed from time
to time from one or other consultant.

B C Boyd

Competing interests:
None declared

Competing interests: No competing interests

21 February 2006
Bernard Boyd
Family Physician
Private Practice