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Health Services

Volume 126: debated on Monday 1 February 1988

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To ask the Secretary of State for Social Services what consideration he gives to any proposal by a district health authority to reduce treatment to those living in a neighbouring district health authority.

The NHS is a national service and general practitioners are free to refer their patients to the consultant they consider most able to benefit their patient. The decision as to whether to accept a referral is a matter for the clinical judgment of the individual consultant. In some instances the consultant may conclude that the patient does not have need for the special services provided by the hospital where he is based and would be more appropriately treated elsewhere. These are not matters where it would be appropriate for us to intervene.