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Commissioning 'early adopters' cut referrals by a third

GPs in 'early adopter' practice-based commissioning areas have cut referrals to secondary care by up to a third.

The Department of Health claims the figures from four

areas are evidence the scheme is already having an impact and could have a huge effect on

the NHS.

Andy Burnham, health minister, said a 25 per cent reduction in 'unnecessary' GP referrals to consultants across the NHS would mean about 2.5

million fewer people being seen in community facilities rather than hospitals.

This would relieve financial pressure on the NHS, cut waiting times and provide better value for money, he added.

Dr Richard Vautrey, GPC

negotiator, agreed GPs could make a success of commissioning, but said they needed more incentives and management support from PCTs.

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