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Referrals cash morally wrong

Financial incentives to dissuade GPs from making referrals to secondary care are morally and ethically wrong.

Although they may make GPs think harder about who or when to refer, and may well reduce referrals to hospital, they could also encourage GPs to try to practise beyond their normal boundaries of competence.

Incentives are likely to delay referrals that are going to have to happen at some point, and inevitably will put some patients at unnecessary risk, perhaps resulting in adverse outcomes.

My personal threshold for referral to secondary care will be unchanged by any financial incentives designed to dissuade me of my current approach.

I think referral incentives are abhorrent.

Dr Christopher Hughes, sessional GP working in north London and Brighton

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