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Coroner warns on referrals

The Chief Medical Officer has told GPs to ensure they have a system in place to chase referrals for patients with life-threatening conditions.

His warning came after a letter from the Eastern District coroner highlighted the case of a young patient who died of an anaphylactic reaction.

Following an initial anaphylactic episode, a GP had referred the patient but had given an incorrect address. The patient never received notification of his appointment.

The patient later had another, near-fatal, anaphylactic episode and after recovering was urgently referred by the GP by telephone.

The coroner pointed out that the elderly and 'mentally frail' could be most at risk from missing out on specialist opinion and treatment.

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