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Patients misled on GPSI consultations

Patients are being misled into believing they are seeing a consultant when they have actually been referred to a GPSI, a leading specialist organisation has warned.

In some areas GPs are being prevented from referring to hospitals and forced instead to direct patients to intermediate care services, the British Ass-ociation of Dermatologists said.The claims echo wider concerns from both hospital doctors and GPs over the rapid expansion of GPSI services, which some see as purely cost driven. They come with tough new standards for GPSIs due to be released in the next few weeks, which could see many forced to retrain.Dr Susan Burge, president of the British Association of Dermatologists, told Pulse: 'We have had instances when people show us a letter that says they are going to see a specialist and they have seen a GP instead. The patient should know who they are going to see. I do get cross if a patient thinks they are going to see a consult-ant dermatologist but doesn't.'She added that the drive to get patients to see GPSIs instead of specialists was 'destabilising' smaller dermatology departments.'We've heard in some areas that GPs are being told they can't refer to secondary care and they have to refer to intermediate care,' she said.

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