Cookie policy notice

By continuing to use this site you agree to our cookies policy below:
Since 26 May 2011, the law now states that cookies on websites can ony be used with your specific consent. Cookies allow us to ensure that you enjoy the best browsing experience.

This site is intended for health professionals only

At the heart of general practice since 1960

GP referrals jump 4%

By Lilian Anekwe

GP referrals rose by 4% last year, according to Department of Health figures that suggest GPs will struggle to hit new QOF targets to bring down outpatient activity.

The latest DH figures on GP outpatient referrals, published last week, show there were just over 2.9m referrals in the final quarter of 2010/11, a rise of more than 250,000 referrals from the third quarter of the last financial year, when there was just 2.6m GP referrals to outpatient departments.

Figures were also published for the full financial year 2010/11, when primary care organisations employed a series of tactics, including external and remote triage, referral gateway centres and delaying referrals until after April, in order to curb a rise in GP referrals.

But the figures show these attempts were unsuccessful, as the number of GP referrals made in 2010/11 increased by 490,000 compared to 2009/10, a rise of 4.4% to 11.6 million.

The latest rise could have implications for GP practices trying to hit targets, set out in new QOF indicators on quality and productivity, to internally review practice data on secondary care outpatient referrals and compare it to those of other practices, and engage with the development of three agreed care pathways for improving the management of patients in primary care and avoid inappropriate outpatient referrals.

Outpatient referrals Pulse Digital Seminars

Pulse Digital Seminars: Hitting the new QOF and DES targets - How to protect your core income. Register for our groundbreaking online event today. £49 to register, first 200 join for free! Find out more >>

Rate this article 

Click to rate

  • 1 star out of 5
  • 2 stars out of 5
  • 3 stars out of 5
  • 4 stars out of 5
  • 5 stars out of 5

0 out of 5 stars

Have your say