Why is NHS England incentivising CCGs to implement clinical peer review of referrals?
NHS England officials have asked clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) to implement clinical peer review of GP referrals from this month, the British Medical Journal has reported.
The step is intended to reduce inappropriate referrals to secondary care.
The guidance titled Elective care high impact interventions: clinical peer review is said to have been sent to CCGs in May, but has not yet been made public.
The journal Pulse has seen the document and reported that it mentions ‘significant additional funding’ for commissioners who establish GP peer review this year.
An NHS spokesperson is said to have told the BMJ that the issue of patients turning up to appointments they do not need is taking up hospital time.
He added that around half of CCGs already had a peer review process in place. The conversation should be an informal chat, not an approval process, and responsibility for the referral remained with the GP.
Royal College of GPs vice chair Martin Marshall warned that there is little or no evidence that referral management schemes are cost effective.