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Hospital Referrals

Volume 485: debated on Tuesday 16 December 2008

16. To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment he has made of the effect of incentives offered by primary care trusts to GPs for reducing numbers of referrals for hospital appointments on referral rates and the welfare of patients. (243646)

Some primary care trusts (PCTs) have agreed schemes that are designed to avoid unnecessary referrals to hospital and promote more clinically appropriate alternatives. It is for primary care trusts to evaluate the effectiveness of these schemes. The Department of Health has made clear to the NHS that any such schemes must promote the most clinically appropriate care for patients.