This blog was written in response to this BMJ Head to Head debate on whether GPs should be paid to reduce unnecessary referrals.
As someone living with long-term health conditions, I want the NHS to be both ethical and financially sustainable. It shouldn’t be that those two characteristics are mutually exclusive.
As a self-management coach for the NHS working with people with long-term health conditions, I often see people desperate for a referral or fed up with too many different referrals. Those two sentiments aren’t necessarily mutually exclusive either.
My interest in this topic lies not with the processes that seem to be driving the arguments, but about the conversations that happen between GPs and their patients and how referrals are discussed and decided upon.