NHS specialist referrals 'biased'

NHS GPS are basing decisions on whether or not to refer their patients to specialists based on their age, sex and wealth.

This is one of the points made in a recent study published in the British Medical Journal.

After looking at the records of 130,000 patients, the scientists found that there could be a substantial difference in the likelihood of referral between older and younger patients.

Women were seen to be even less likely to be sent to see a specialist doctor, with females suffering from hip pain ten per cent less likely to be sent on.

Those from a poorer background saw their chances fall even further.

Michelle Mitchell, charity director at Age UK, told the BBC: "A doctor's decision to refer patients must be based solely on the patient's clinical need, not their age.

"Age discrimination in health provision will be unlawful from 2012 and it can't come a moment too soon for older people in need of medical care."

Comment on this page »


Latest news

Chelsea and Westminster named the best place to work in the NHS for 2015

Nuffield Health opens doors of new Cambridge Hospital

Nuffield Health plans to open state-of-the-art diagnostic suite

NHS specialist referrals 'biased'
Connect with us on:

This site compiles with the HONcode standard for trustworthy health information