Referrals: how GP locums can minimise risks

17th July 2023 by Dr Rachel Birch, medicolegal consultant, Medical Protection

Referrals: how GP locums can minimise risks

Dr V was working for three days as a GP locum in a busy general practice. She had not worked there before, and the job had been arranged at short notice.

On her final day she had a telephone consultation with a 36 year old mother of two, Mrs F, who reported a three month history of menorrhagia, intermenstrual bleeding and postcoital bleeding. Dr V asked to see her for a face-to-face consultation, but Mrs F said she had a busy week although she agreed to go in and see her regular GP the following week.

However, Mrs F was very anxious and asked Dr V to refer her to the gynaecology clinic in the meantime so she could get on the waiting list. Dr V dictated the referral at the end of her session and asked the secretary to ensure that it was sent. She also documented the plan in Mrs F’s medical record, highlighting for the regular GP that Mrs F would require further assessment and examination.

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