Referral blocks are indeed unnecessary and counter-productive.
All patients require the same rapid response to effective NHS services. Early referrals save the NHS money and patients misery. But GPs and hospital consultants must work closely together in each district to provide cost-effective services – and politicians over the past 20 years have created increasing divides between GPs and consultants, through policy initiatives such as fundholding and now GP commissioning.
From Dr Vijay Bansal