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Health: GP Special Interests

Volume 696: debated on Wednesday 21 November 2007

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What estimate the Department of Health has made of the expected effect of an increase in the number of general practitioners with special interests on referrals to secondary care; and whether there will be changes in funding to reflect this. [HL137]

We do not centrally monitor local referral patterns.

It is for local health commissioners, both primary care trusts and practice-based commissioners, to determine local services—including general practitioners with special interests services—which will best meet the needs of their local populations within the resources available to them, and to fund these services accordingly. The influence of community-based services on referrals to secondary care will be an important consideration in overall service planning at local level.

Referral numbers to secondary care in any one area will therefore be a result of the balance of local services designed to address local need.