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Choose and Book? Not for me, thanks

From Dr Kevan Thorley

Newcastle, Staffordshire

I cannot understand why we have allowed ourselves to be sucked into Choose and Book.

There is no evidence it is of benefit to patients and in some areas it is a nonsense. In north Staffordshire, for example, there is only one large hospital within sensible travelling distance, while in Cornwall one hospital serves a vast rural and dispersed population.

It is also costly. Our PCT is nearly £1 million in debt, and I am told this is almost entirely because of Choose and Book. It is therefore adversely affecting patient care.

We are expected to take it on in general practice without any additional resources. Well, I am having none of it. I propose to continue to send my referrals to our local hospital and have informed the PCT. Why don't we all do the same?

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