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Must referring GPs use hospital form?

No. Referrals are made by GPs in the manner they think most appropriate ­ it may be via free-hand letters, home-produced forms, or templates created by a hospital. The choice rests with the GP.

Although quite often such suggestions from hospitals can be useful to ensure points of valuable information are not overlooked in the referral, there is no question whatsoever of any insistence being possible. The best situation is that the hospital should realise it is dealing with independent practitioners who may well be open to reasonable persuasion to follow a certain course of action, but they are not under the direction of hospital managers.

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