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MPs ‘sceptical’ over e-Referrals system

3 June 2014

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Political leaders are “sceptical” that the e-Referrals system will be more successful than Choose and Book. 

The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) has called on NHS England to develop plans to ensure e-Referrals is not “underused”, unlike its predecessor. 

A recently published PAC report claimed that Choose and Book was a “missed opportunity” to improve patient care. 

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The report reads: “It cost £356 million to March 2012, but has had a chequered history and is underutilised, which means that annual savings of up to £51 million are being missed. 

“Given the difficulty NHS England has had in getting GPs and other to use Choose and Book, we are sceptical about its ability to achieve full utilisation of e-Referrals.” 

Choose and Book is currently used for 50% of referrals. e-Referrals will replace Choose and Book as the NHS electronic appointment booking service in November. 

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