NHS England (NHSE) is promising Clinical Commissioning Groups significant extra funding if they establish a system to check all the patient referrals that GPs make (e.g to a hospital specialist). NHSE claims this could reduce referrals by 30%. It’s not clear yet if this checking process will be carried out by other GPs in the same practice or by a special panel of GPs set up to carry this out. In either case, in addition to delaying referrals and adding to the workload of already over-stretched GPs, those carrying out the vetting will be second guessing GPs’ decisions without actually seeing the patient.
“We made three mistakes that I regret, the first being restructuring the NHS. The rest are minor.”— unnamed Senior Conservative Cabinet Minister