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GP initiative streamlines referrals

Dr Katherine Burn's practice has cut waiting times for urgent referrals to a rapid-access chest pain clinic by two days by streamlining paperwork.

The initiative was singled out by the NHS Modernisation Agency as an example of how services can be improved without added cost. Dr Burn, a GP in Blackburn, Lancashire, said the delays formerly occurred because referral letters were typed and sent back to the GP for a signature, a process that took two days. She said: 'We agreed that the receptionists could just fax the letter off unsigned and now patients are referred on the same day.'

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