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Choose and Book problems with consultants' expertise

Patients are being referred to consultants unfamiliar with how to treat their conditions through Choose and Book.

Pulse has learned of ortho-paedic surgeons being forced to leave their own patients anaesthetised on the operating table while they assist colleagues unfamiliar with the techniques needed for the operation.

The problem appears to lie with a lack of detail attached to entries in the directory of services held in the system.

Dr Jonathan Fielden, a consultant anaesthetist at the Royal Berkshire Hospital and deputy-chair of the BMA consultants committee, said he had heard of similar scenarios all over the country since Choose and Book was introduced.

'It often comes down to the exact statement the trust has used to explain the consultant's expertise in the directory of services. This is precisely why we are so worried about Choose and Book.'

Connecting for Health said it was up to consultants to check referrals and up to GPs to ensure they were aware of what the consultants could provide.

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