GPs in Hertfordshire have been told to refer patients to private hospitals in a bid to control soaring waiting times at the local NHS trust, Pulse has learned.
NHS Herts Valley CCG has told GPs to refrain from referring patients to West Hertfordshire NHS Trust (WHHT) for non-urgent appointments wherever possible, and has particularly encouraged GPs to not refer for certain specialties, including cardiology, ENT, urology, pain, and general surgery.
Instead GPs have been told to refer patients to alternative hospitals, including local private providers, while the Trust is in the process transferring existing referrals to the private hospitals. The referrals will be funded by the NHS.
This is in a bid to cut waiting times at the trust, which has failed to meet national 18-week referral to treatment targets.
Full story in Pulse 19 August 2016