Safety and Quality: Referrals
Referrals Review for OOH doctors
Overall, GPs refer on average around 10% of their consultations to another agency. In out of hours care the figure is usually higher, reflecting the case content of immediately necessary care.
We have been criticised by hospital colleagues for both over and under referral. There is no gold standard for the "right" number of referrals, but it is also clear that we can sometimes fail to refer or we can refer inappropriately through lack of knowledge or skills.
Sessional GPs have been criticised for having a higher referral rate than GP Principals. There is some evidence that the average rate for them is higher, although in many cases there may be appropriate reasons for this.
Out of hours services do not necessarily have appropriate information or resources to provide continuing management in the community and referral may be seen as a safety net. However, the extent to which this is used varies widely between OOH doctors.
Research has shown that the number of referrals made will depend on several factors:
This page was last updated on: 18/08/2016
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