why GP's refer

Last reviewed 01/2018

  • specialist treatment - eg surgery, dialysis
  • specialist opinion on diagnosis or management eg rheumatoid arthritis
  • reassurance of patient and/or doctor eg vague chest pain
  • facilities not available by direct access eg CAT scan, exercise ECG or physiotherapy
  • patient or relatives' anxiety or pressure for a second opinion eg in somaticising depression
  • reinforcement of advice in poorly compliant patient
  • sharing the load of a difficult or demanding patient
  • deterioration in the patient-doctor relationship so that one party wishes to involve someone else in management
  • fear of malpractice litigation
  • individual GP's personality and mood - tolerance of uncertainty, willingness to take risks, personal enthusiasms, perceptions of availability and benefits of treatment