New Choose and Book lead GP is set to target hospital doctors

More must be done to engage hospital doctors if the electronic referral system Choose and Book is to fulfil its potential, according to one of the programme's new clinical leads.

Dr Graham Croker, a full-time GP in Portsmouth, said that doing more to bring secondary clinicians on board would be a big challenge.

'IT processes within hospitals aren't as well developed as in general practice,' he said. 'It's a fairly major change to take control of appointments away from secondary care, and put it in the hands of patients and their agents, GPs.'

He added that the system could have real benefits for hospitals, citing reductions in missed appointments and falling waiting times.

'The time between paper referral appearing and being acted on can be up to nine days. That just disappears,' he said.

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