NHS Constitution could undermine GPs' judgment

GPs could be compelled to reveal to patients full details of their reasons for making urgent cancer referrals, under plans being mooted by the DoH.

Dr Brian Balmer: legislation on sensitive issues is unworkable
Dr Brian Balmer: legislation on sensitive issues is unworkable

In its consultation on the NHS Constitution the DoH is seeking views on how GPs communicate with patients about referrals.

In some cases GPs do not tell patients why they are making the urgent referral in case it causes them undue stress or worry.

But the consultation document says: 'This means a number of patients are left unaware of the urgency of their referral, and may choose to delay their initial appointment with a specialist.'

It calls for views on whether GPs should be ‘required to provide specific information to patients about their rights and what the two week waiting time means'.

GPs condemned the idea as undermining their professional judgment. Essex LMCs chief executive and GPC member Dr Brian Balmer described it as ‘madness'. ‘To suggest that you can legislate on a sensitive discussion between a doctor and a patient is unworkable,' he said.

Sheila Williams, director of Wessex LMCs, said: ‘We would not support any blanket law. It goes against the needs of an individual patient and takes away from GPs the fundamental rule of providing the best care for each patient.'

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

Pension tax solution for judges shows government could do more for doctors, says BMA

Pension tax solution for judges shows government could do more for doctors, says BMA

Government plans to 'effectively exempt judges from pension tax' show the government...

UK COVID-19 vaccination programme tracker

UK COVID-19 vaccination programme tracker

GPs across the UK are playing a leading role in the largest-ever NHS vaccination...

Second-phase COVID-19 vaccine rollout maintains prioritisation by age

Second-phase COVID-19 vaccine rollout maintains prioritisation by age

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) has published advice on...

PCNs paid £70m for first-wave COVID-19 jab campaign as NHS plots next phase of rollout

PCNs paid £70m for first-wave COVID-19 jab campaign as NHS plots next phase of rollout

Primary care network (PCN) COVID-19 vaccination sites have been paid £70m this month...

London GP personally calling at-risk patients to boost COVID-19 vaccine uptake

London GP personally calling at-risk patients to boost COVID-19 vaccine uptake

London GP Dr Farzana Hussain is personally telephoning scores of patients who have...

Half of patients with possible cancer symptoms avoided contacting GP in first wave

Half of patients with possible cancer symptoms avoided contacting GP in first wave

Almost half of people who experienced potential cancer symptoms in the first wave...