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GP referrals to hospital continue to rise steadily

GP referrals to hospital are continuing to rise at a steady pace, while rising referrals from other healthcare professionals and from consultant to consultant are also putting pressure on PCT budgets.

GP referrals to hospital are continuing to rise at a steady pace, while rising referrals from other healthcare professionals and from consultant to consultant are also putting pressure on PCT budgets.

The latest Government figures show GP referrals in January-March were up by 264,000 – an 11% rise – compared with the same quarter last year.

This is the same percentage increase as in the previous quarter (October-December). ‘Other referrals' – between consultants and from other healthcare professionals – jumped by 137,000, or 10%, one point more than the rise in the previous quarter.

PCTs are understood to be planning a crackdown on rising consultant-to-consultant referrals, placing further pressure on GPs to manage patients in the community.

NAPC chair Dr Johnny Marshall said the latest figures were not surprising.

‘It's imperative that we have transformational change rather than little PBC schemes.'

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