BURNS: Referral levels highlight challenge of delivering personalised, responsive health care in Wales

Over 110,000 referrals were received for a first outpatient appointment at a Welsh Local Health Board in June 2016, with levels now at their highest level for eight months.

In total, 110,341 referrals were received, of which 66.3% were GP referrals. The total number of referrals have increased by 0.7 per cent on the previous month; and are at the highest level since October 2015.

Welsh Conservatives have outlined how, following the publication of this new data, the Welsh Government should explore whether the existing system of GP referrals places an unnecessary strain on centralised health services.

Shadow Secretary for Heath, Angela Burns AM, said:

“With over 110,000 referred for a first outpatient appointment in June 2016, and the vast majority of these being GP referrals, it is clear Labour Ministers must assess ways to reduce the strain placed on centralised health services.

“This new Welsh administration must seek to adopt modernised thinking, and explore whether devolving some diagnostic, and treatment, services to local GPs could remove some burden on major hospitals.

“Referral management is a challenge the Welsh Government must take seriously, and Welsh Conservatives want to work constructively to help ensure Wales benefits from a personalised, responsive health service.”