MP's anger over referral delays

PUBLISHED: 09:42 13 March 2006 | UPDATED: 08:58 24 May 2010

PATIENTS are having to wait longer for treatment because GP referrals are being deliberately held back by health chiefs, says Weston's MP. John Penrose says North Somerset Primary Care Trust (PCT) is holding on to referrals made by GPs to hospitals for up

PATIENTS are having to wait longer for treatment because GP referrals are being deliberately held back by health chiefs, says Weston's MP.John Penrose says North Somerset Primary Care Trust (PCT) is holding on to referrals made by GPs to hospitals for up to four weeks because of its financial problems.Under the referral system, the PCT collects GP referrals through the Referral Management Centre, which should pass them on to the hospitals immediately.But Mr Penrose says referrals made in January were not passed on until February, with the same delay happening the following month.The PCT confirms that it is delaying making non-urgent referrals from GPs for a month but the Weston & Somerset Mercury understands a mother-of-two with skin cancer has also had treatment delayed.The woman, who is in her 40s and lives in the Weston area, was diagnosed with a re-occurrence of skin cancer on February 2. A GP letter was sent to a consultant the following day. When the family heard nothing, Weston General Hospital was contacted on February 22. Officials confirmed no referral had been received and that the letter must still be held at the Referral Management Centre.Even though the GP faxed a copy of the original letter with an urgent request for an appointment, as of March 7 the woman was still waiting.The PCT says all patients are still being seen within the 13 week target time from the date of the original letter and this is a short term measure. Cancer sufferers and children are not being affected, it says.Mr Penrose has raised the issue in a letter to the Health Minister, Patricia Hewitt.He said: "This is all about saving money rather than caring for patients. The PCT is not to blame as it has to dance to the Government's tune.

More from Weston Mercury

16:00

A couple’s home was raided while they were partying the night away at a police ball. The story featured in the Weston Mercury and Somerset Herald 50 years ago.

Read more

Girls from across the Extend Learning Academies Network in Weston came together for an inter-schools football tournament.

Read more

Work has begun on Weston’s £11million flagship food and drink centre, which is expected to bring 250 jobs to the area.

Read more

Weston stroke survivors could benefit from a ‘life-changing’ new rehabilitation programme.

Read more
10:50

Significant improvements to day-time operations at Weston General Hospital’s A&E have been recognised by health inspectors.

Read more

Indie rock band The Zutons will perform in Bristol next spring.

Read more

An action-packed superhero adventure comes to cinema screens next week, and Mercury readers will win tickets to see it.

Read more

The family of a Worle youngster have praised their son’s bravery after he won a Somerset Award.

Read more
Yesterday, 20:00

A sing-along screening of 2017’s smash hit The Greatest Showman will take place at Bristol Hippodrome.

Read more
Yesterday, 18:00

A stunning display of more than 100,000 twinkling lights in a Burnham cul-de-sac has raised more than £1,000 for local charities, in just its opening week.

Read more

Most Read News

Read Online

Image
Read the Weston Worle and Somerset Mercury e-edition E-edition

Local Weather

Heavy Showers

Heavy Showers

max temp: 11°C

min temp: 4°C

Useful Links

Advertise in the paper
Submit a Story
Subscribe to the paper
Competitions
Send Your Letters
Order Photos
Family notices
iwitness24
Facebook
Twitter
Reader Travel

Family Notices 24

Newsletter Sign Up

Weston Mercury twice-weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Hot Jobs

Show Job Lists