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Over 100,000 sign petition against cash-for-cuts GP referral schemes

A petition to stop cash-for-cuts referrals has gained over 100,000 signatures, after being launched this morning.

The petition, pitched by campaign group 38 Degrees, comes in light of Pulse’s investigation into CCGs offering GP incentives to cut referrals to secondary care.

The investigation was also mentioned in Parliament yesterday, raised by the Labour Party’s shadow health secretary, who called for health secretary Jeremy Hunt to step in.

The petition reads: ‘Don’t use financial incentives or arbitrary targets to reduce GP referrals.’

38 Degrees said: ‘When you walk into your doctors office, you want to know your GP is only thinking about giving you the care you need, not the money they can save or the targets they have to hit.

‘But right now some GPs are being offered cash incentives to cut the number of patients they refer to hospital – including people who might have cancer.

‘This plan is dangerous – GP groups and medical experts have already raised the alarm. But if we want to stop this scheme before it spreads across England, it will need thousands of us to tell health secretary Jeremy Hunt to put an end to it.’

The campaign group said that ‘if 100,000 people sign the petition in the next 48 hours, we’ll send it straight to Jeremy Hunt’.

Sign the petition here