Many will recall the head of medicines management at the Isle of Wight Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) Paul Jerram being dismissed after being exposed in the Daily Telegraph’s video sting boasting about being paid thousands of pounds and treated to luxury hotel stays by pharmaceutical companies lobbying the health service to use their drugs.

Reading last week’s letter on GP referrals (CP online, 29-12-21) I wonder whether we might be in danger of moving backwards. 

The writer appeared be unaware they were being referred to a private company for medical treatment. 

With these new Integrated Care Partnerships are we assured GPs will not be offered inducements to refer patients to private sector providers?

GPs may wish to refer patients to Integrated Care Partners because they offer superior medical care, quicker care, or the medical care the patient requires is no longer available on the NHS. 

But surely this needs to be discussed with the patient before any referral — they shouldn’t be learning about it when a letter from one of these companies drops through their letterbox.

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