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Hospital has 'closed its doors' to patients, LMC warns NHS England

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GP leaders have written to NHS England to demand that an NHS hospital trust urgently restores routine referrals as it has 'closed its doors' to some patients, ‘destabilising’ practices in the process. 

Oxfordshire LMC said local GPs are ‘concerned and angry’ about the ‘ongoing closure’ to routine referrals across multiple ‘high-demand’ specialties by Oxford University Hospital Foundation Trust, while warning GPs are also being asked to carry out tests that should be done in hospital.

A ‘significant’ number of specialties are affected, including ENT, general gynaecology, dermatology, ophthalmology, endoscopy and urology, as well as plastics and maxillofacial, it added.

The hospital trust said it had remained open for urgent and emergency care and was accepting clinically urgent and suspected cancer referrals, while reinstating services to support 'the vast majority' of routine referrals.

But Oxfordshire LMC has this week written to NHS England and the council of governors at OUHFT to demand that there are ‘no further delays’ in restoring the services amid concerns of ‘patient harm’.

It said: ‘The LMC believes the continuing closure of some specialty services to routine referrals is now so serious for patients that it has taken a decision to formally raise the concerns of Oxfordshire’s GPs with NHS England.’ 

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Source: Pulse, 13 August 2020

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