Private Referrals

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We are seeing a large number of our patients choosing to have private referrals and treatment, driven in part by huge waiting lists.   Whilst we sympathise with the delays in seeking specialist assistance, we want to bring your attention to the following BMA guidance .  

The BMA guidance is clear that ‘Shared Care with private providers is not recommended due to the general NHS constitution principle of keeping as clear a separation as possible between private and NHS care. 

Therefore, when a private provider asks the patient to seek prescription medications, or arrange tests etc at the practice, the GPs of the practice will not able to do so.

If a private provider requests transfer of care to an NHS provider, they are able to do this themselves, BMA advice ‘Private providers can make referrals to NHS services, without referral back to the GP, provided the patient would be eligible for NHS referral. Any patients referred should be treated based on clinical need. Read NHS England guidance around consultant-to-consultant referrals within the NHS. 

We will be notifying patients at the point of seeking a private referral of the guidance, and making it clear that any treatment or tests requested by the private provider will need to remain the clinical responsibility of the private provider.  Any attempt to request NHS care by a patient who has sought private treatment could be deemed as NHS Fraud.