Pulse Today has reported on Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer’s plan to push for patients to self-refer to secondary care without needing a referral from a GP.
DAUK’s GP lead Dr Lizzie Toberty has criticised this by saying that Sir Keir’s ideas could be ‘downright unsafe’ for patients.
She said: ‘Last week GPs took to social media in dismay, regarding Wes Streeting’s misguided ideas for general practice.
‘It was therefore unbelievable that Keir Starmer floated ideas which have already been tried, such as self-referral to physio, or which could be downright unsafe such as self-referral for testing for internal bleeding.
‘It is clear Labour leaders have not spoken to any doctors in developing their ideas, and it appears the NHS will be no better off under them than the current government.
‘As doctors who live and breath the NHS in our daily lives, we know the problems our patients are encountering, and more than that we know the likely solutions.
‘We are not the enemy here, we all want a health service of which we can be proud. We appeal to them, please go back to the drawing board and listen to us.’
Dr Ellen Welch, GP and co-chair of Doctors’ Association UK, said: ‘If you’ve got “internal bleeding” then you really don’t want to guess which tests you need or which specialists you should self-refer to – you may bleed to death while deciding.
‘Doctors train for ten years or more to become GPs to assess what’s going on and help patients in the best way possible. It’s shocking that Labour would suggest this. It puts patients at risk while simultaneously devaluing the expertise of GPs.’
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