Minister solves referral mystery

Health minister Ben Bradshaw has said that 'mysterious rises' in GP referrals in some parts of England have occurred because of falling hospital waiting times.

Asked at a round-table debate organised by the New Statesman magazine whether demand would always increase to fill whatever capacity the NHS could offer, he said this could be a factor.

'We may already be seeing this with a somewhat mysterious rise in GP referrals in some PCTs. It would seem that part of it is that GPs are actually referring, whereas before they would not have bothered because the person would have had to wait too long,' he said.

He defended extended opening hours, saying that not only well-off commuters had benefited from the change.

'The anecdotal evidence is that it is blue-collar workers using the services because they are paid by the hour and otherwise they would lose pay.'

nick.bostock@haymarket.com

Comment below and tell us what you think

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Register

Already registered?

Sign in

Follow Us:

Just published

Practices handed one-month opt-out window as revamped network DES unveiled

Practices handed one-month opt-out window as revamped network DES unveiled

NHS England has unveiled a revamped DES package for 2020/21 confirming new targets,...

GPs delivered huge rise in face-to-face consultations in week before NHS England letter

GPs delivered huge rise in face-to-face consultations in week before NHS England letter

GPs delivered a huge increase in face-to-face appointments in the week before NHS...

RCGP facing legal action over stance on assisted dying

RCGP facing legal action over stance on assisted dying

The RCGP is facing legal action over its decision to remain opposed to assisted dying...

Medeconomics Live aims to help practices thrive under the new GP contract

Medeconomics Live aims to help practices thrive under the new GP contract

The one-day, virtual Medeconomics Live conference aims to provide practices with...

GPs face wave of abuse and complaints after NHS England face-to-face appointments claims

GPs face wave of abuse and complaints after NHS England face-to-face appointments claims

GP practices have faced a wave of abuse and complaints after a letter from NHS England...

Government denies plan to make GPs 'gatekeepers' of COVID-19 testing

Government denies plan to make GPs 'gatekeepers' of COVID-19 testing

The government has denied plans to make GPs 'gatekeepers' of the struggling COVID-19...