Date Published: 21 October 2008
BMA comment on patient self-referral to physiotherapists
Responding to today’s (Tuesday 21 October 2008) announcement from the Department of Health that patients should be able to self refer to the physiotherapist and other services run by Allied Health Professionals, Dr Laurence Buckman, Chairman of the BMA’s GP Committee, said:
“This has the potential to improve patient access to health services as long as there is good communication between doctors, patients and Allied Health Professionals and also sufficient capacity. Access to physiotherapy services varies across the country. In some areas it is good, in others the service is stretched beyond capacity and some patients choose to go private to be seen within a reasonable time. If there were a rise in direct referrals in overstretched areas there would need to be additional investment to meet the demand for appointments. Without this, we could have a situation where those patients who are referred by their GP or who are leaving hospital have trouble accessing these services.”
Source: British Medical Association.