Hospital referral rates in England have increased significantly over recent years, resulting in the management of referrals becoming a high priority for many local health communities as a means of controlling their capacity and budgets. In 2010 The King's Fund issued a report ‘Referral Management - Lessons for success’ which lists ways in which clinical commissioners might ensure referral management strategies improve quality and make savings.
In the King's Fund report:
"there was evidence that full-scale referral management centre are unlikely to present value for money and some of the new clinical triage and assessment services might add to rather than reduce costs"
"instead, a referral management strategy built around peer review and audit, supported by consultant feedback, with clear referral criteria and evidence-based guidelines is mostly likely to be both cost and clinically effective"
Find out more about the King's Fund report.