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Primary Care Trusts

Volume 458: debated on Monday 12 March 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many primary care trusts operate referral management schemes; what assessment she has made of the effectiveness of such schemes; what safeguards she has put in place to ensure that referral management schemes operated by the independent sector do not compromise the care offered to patients; whether referral management schemes have the statutory authority to override GP referrals; and if she will make a statement. (123069)

Information on how many primary care trusts operate referral management centres is not held centrally. Primary care trusts with their partners, including the independent sector, have been advised that it is good practice to review and where necessary develop existing referral management centres to make sure that they create tangible benefits for patients, and uphold the principles set out in ‘Care and resource utilisation: ensuring appropriateness of care’, published on 14 December 2006. This is available in the Library and at:

www.dh.gov.uk/PublicationsAndStatistics/Publications/PublicationsPolicyAndGuidance/PublicationsPolicy AndGuidanceArticle/fs/en?CONTENT_ID=4141316&chk=iJxRrx

Referral management centres are not subject to legislative provision.