Private firm and PCT to take control of GPs' referrals

UnitedHealth UK have signed a deal to help manage all referrals across an entire London borough centrally.

UnitedHealth UK will help manage all referrals for the London borough of Hounslow

NHS Hounslow says a new ‘Referral Facilitation Service’ will book appointments for patients following GP consultations and ‘provide a single point of contact for queries regarding referrals.’

The PCT says the plan will ‘support GPs in their new role as commissioners,’ ahead of PCTs’ abolition in 2013.

Dr Nicola Burbidge, GP and chair of the Great West Commissioning Consortium, said GPs had designed the referral guidelines.

‘Better information about Hounslow patients and their use of hospital care will help GPs become effective commissioners. It will provide better information on how capacity is used, which will help us spend the budget allocated to Hounslow wisely.’

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