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Controversial Choose and Book practice allowed to continue

By Steve Nowottny

A hospital which manually uploads paper referrals to boost its performance against Choose and Book targets has been given the green light to continue by SHA bosses.

NHS South West has met with NHS Cornwall and Isles of Scilly to discuss the bizarre policy, revealed by Pulse last month - but said it would continue until all referrals were made through Choose and Book.

An NHS South West spokesperson said the process of uploading paper referrals, which account for 4% of all referrals to the hospital, was ‘temporary to avoid patients being disadvantaged, and will no longer continue once all general practices are fully using the Choose and Book system.'

GPs had expressed alarm at the practice, warning that it could lead to misleading usage figures and highlighting consent and security concerns.

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