Pressure on GP referrals could delay diagnoses, RCGP warns

Putting too much pressure on GPs to reduce referrals could lead to delays in diagnoses, the RCGP chairwoman has warned.

Dr Gerada: ‘We have to be absolutely careful that we are not performance managing GPs where patients will be put at risk'
Dr Gerada: ‘We have to be absolutely careful that we are not performance managing GPs where patients will be put at risk'

Giving evidence to the health select committee’s inquiry on commissioning, Dr Clare Gerada said performance management of GPs should not put patients at risk. She called for more robust measures of performance to be put in place.

Dr Gerada said: ‘If we use referral management centres and stop patients referred to service of their choice we may inadvertently delay cancer diagnose and cause under referrals.

‘We have to be absolutely careful that we are not performance managing GPs where patients will be put at risk.’

Dr Gerada also warned about conflict of interest issues if responsibility for performance management is transferred to GP consortia once PCTs are abolished. She said there would be ‘inherent conflict of interest’ if the smallest consortia had to performance manage its constituent practices.  

‘We would feel that wherever you sit the performance assessment of GPs it ought to be transparent and the individual doing it needs to have to have respect of GPs,' she said. ‘With large consortia, covering populations of 600,000, you can sit it within there but with the smaller ones you might have to get neighbouring consortia to do it.’

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