As a busy dental surgery we often refer patients to hospitals and orthodontic clinics. Until recently we wrote directly to the secretary of the consultant  concerned who liased with the patient.

Now the 'Central Clearing of Hospital Referrals' office has been bought in and we must write to them. They decide which specialist the patient should see and where they should go.

Of course, when our patients telephone us wanting to know why they have not heard from the hospital, we cannot answer their questions. We don't kow to whom they will be referred nor when their appointment will be. The personal touch has completely gone. Not only this, we have had instances of this new office losing referrals.

The 'Central Clearing for Hospital Referals' is a complete waste of money, presumably created to create a few more jobs. Why should it be up to office workers to decide where a patient goes. It should be up to the dentist who knows who is best to solve the patient's problem. Through their experience, they know the best professionals to refer their patients to.

The orthodonists have also given us their opinion,  that they also think this office is un-necessary. One orthodontist whose clinic is outside of a hospital environment is receiving greatly reduced referrals and feels that his clinic is going down the tubes, whilest his wife, who works in the hospital, said there is many months waiting list. This is obvioulsy not working.

The original system worked well and should be reinstated. The 'Central Clearing for Hospital Referals' should be scrapped now.


Why is this idea important?

Scrapping this office will save the NHS will huge amounts of money.

It will also allow patient and/or dentist choice as to which consultant is seen.

All clinicans will receive referrals, not just those favoured by the clearing office.

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