Lessons From The King's Fund


In August 2010 the King’s Fund published their investigation into primary care referral management entitled Referral Management – Lessons for success 


They suggest that a quality referral:

  • Is clinically necessary
  • Has completed primary care management
  • Includes relevant history, examination, investigations and management (if it’s not in the letter the RMS can’t direct it)
  • Is timely – not too early, not too late
  • Is directed to the appropriate specialist
  • Is of an appropriate degree of urgency
  • Does not duplicate work already done in previous referrals
  • Describes the patient’s and the referring GP’s ideas, concerns and expectations
  • Is a shared decision between patient and referring GP


They also advise that “a referral management strategy built around peer review and audit, supported by consultant feedback, with clear referral criteria and evidence-based guidelines is most likely to be both cost- and clinically-effective” which is an accurate description of the RMS