Where the referrals blame lies
From Dr Patrick Milroy
Your exclusive report on the disarray in the referrals system (News, 30 November) is very timely. Our practice has just held a meeting with executives of our closest hospital trust (though outside our PCT area), to be informed of all the ventures planned for our patients.
We then showed them an e-mail received from the acting medical director of our own PCT, informing the practice that the above trust was unable to accept orthopaedic referrals from our practice area, even though the majority of our orthopaedic referrals are sent to the nearby hospital of that trust. Owing to financial 'haemorrhaging', they are unable to fulfil the Government's waiting time targets, so cannot accept referrals, even though patients are happy to wait longer in order to see the consultant of their choice.
When is someone going to put the blame where it belongs? These trusts are not overspending; they are simply underfunded by this Government for the level and volume of service that is expected of them.
As for the choice of provider now available to our patients – there is none.
Choose and Book, my backside!