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Call for GPs to boycott referral management centre

GPs in Kent are being urged to ignore a clinical assessment service being introduced in selected practices to help cut referrals.

Bexley Care Trust has introduced the assessment service after claiming some GPs are overspending on practice commiss- ioning budgets.

The service will examine GP referrals to all specialties.

Dr Mickey Adagra, Bexley LMC chair, said the unlitaral imposition of the referral management centre undermined GPs' autonomy and threatened patient confidentiality.

The LMC has insisted the trust take on medicolegal responsibility for diversion of referrals.

Dr Adagra said: 'Wherever possible GPs should review and audit their own referrals. Practices should feel free to reject participating in this.'

The trust rejected LMC claims it has 'bullied' GPs into using the service and said patient referrals examined were anonymised.

A Bexley PCT spokesperson said: 'The service has been introduced as a supportive measure to look at the best ways to manage patients in the most appropriate settings.

'Many GPs are unaware of the alternative pathways that can assist them in the management of their patients.'

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