GPs more likely to refer to private sector due to budget pressures

More than half of GPs are now more likely to refer patients to the private sector due to pressures on NHS budgets and capacity, a survey reveals.

The poll of 1,000 GPs, sponsored by the General Healthcare Group (GHG), showed that around 53% of GPs are now more likely to channel patients to the private sector for 'low priority' operations, such as those for varicose veins.

The remaining 43% of GPs said that despite treatment deprioritisation, there would be no change in their private referral patterns and only 4% said they were less likely to refer to providers outside the NHS.

GHG chief executive Adrian Fawcett said financial pressures in the NHS will result in longer waits for treatment.

‘The combination of increasing demand and an overstretched NHS budget means further treatment deprioritisation is inevitable and waiting lists look set to rise significantly, resulting in more people opting to seek care from private providers.

‘As GPs take responsibility for commissioning, they will be very aware that they have to make the most of their budgets for the benefit of all patients. It is not surprising therefore that we will see GPs increasingly referring patients to the private sector if patients want access to timelier treatment.’

View our Hospital Referrals Resource Centre

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins


Already registered?

Sign in

Follow Us:

Just published

NHS logo on tiled wall

GP assistants are no solution to the workforce crisis in general practice, warns RCGP

Plans to recruit more than 1,000 GP assistants in practices across England 'must...

Person looking at a smartphone

GP at Hand to pull out of Birmingham next month

Babylon GP at Hand has decided to pull out of Birmingham at the end of next month,...

Dr Ollie Hart and Dr Devina Maru

How shared decision making can help GPs better meet patients' needs

Dr Ollie Hart and Dr Devina Maru are at opposite phases of their career – Dr Hart...

Stethoscope hung up in medical centre

London faces growing GP workforce gap as workload continues to soar

A surge in vacant GP posts over the past year has left half of London's practices...

Health and social care secretary Therese Coffey

Coffey targets rapid GP access over face-to-face appointments

Therese Coffey has said she 'will not be prescriptive' on how GPs see patients -...


Study reveals 'significant rise in anti-GP rhetoric'

Media coverage of general practice last year saw a 'significant rise in anti-GP rhetoric'...