A controversial survey carried out by Pulse magazine revealed that many NHS hospitals are denying appointments to patients recommended by GPs in order to cut down on costs.
More than 380 GPs took part in the survey with over 30 percent of them saying that their referrals are being screened by referral management centre, a practice that trusts admit do help in cutting down the costs.
Nearly 10 percent of all referrals made by GPs are being denied appointments even for some major services such as hip and knee replacements, IVF or cataract surgeries. According to the survey, 21 percent of the GPs believe that their patients are struggling to get appointments for hip and knee replacements while the number is 13 percent for allergy services and cataract surgery.
"It may be reasonable to screen out some referrals, but simply erecting crude blocks to hospital treatment not only damages patient care, but probably won't control costs in the long run. All it will do is force up demand for other parts of the NHS and store up problems for the future", Pulse magazine editor, Richard Hoey.