Exclusive: PCTs target £1m savings with referral restrictions

PCTs hope to save an average of £1m each by expanding restrictions on referrals for 'non-urgent' procedures, a GPonline.com investigation has revealed.

Dr Nagpaul: ‘The problem with different low-priority thresholds is that they are often drawn up on the basis of local interpretation of evidence’
Dr Nagpaul: ‘The problem with different low-priority thresholds is that they are often drawn up on the basis of local interpretation of evidence’

Among responses from 111 PCTs to a Freedom of Information Act request, 34 provided detailed information about the savings they expect to make through restricting procedures.

On average, PCTs expected to save £1,051,000 through restricting procedures they deemed ‘non-urgent’, of ‘limited clinical value’, ‘low priority’ or ‘cosmetic’.

Earlier this week, GPonline.com revealed that 64% of PCTs have now introduced such policies and that 35% of PCTs have added to their list of procedures for 2011/2.

GPC negotiator Dr Chaand Nagpaul has said the government needed to decide on a consistent set of national standards of ‘low priority’ treatments to help remove postcode lotteries in provision.

‘The problem with different low-priority thresholds is that they are often drawn up on the basis of local interpretation of evidence,’ he said. ‘Ultimately that is not fair to patients.’

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Register

Already registered?

Sign in

Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus