And So to Bed: Access to Inpatient Services

  • Ian Harvey
Part of the Economic Issues in Health Care book series (EIHC)


The general practitioner is often spoken of as fulfilling the role of gatekeeper within the NHS. The analogy is entirely apt. As a consequence of the convention, dating back to the early part of this century, that consultants should only see non-emergency patients who have first been referred by a GP, doctors working in primary care largely control access to hospital services. It is worth re-iterating that hospital consultants can themselves greatly influence the dynamics of outpatient work by means of their own practice with regard to the follow-up of both inpatients and outpatients.


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© The editors and contributors 1993

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  • Ian Harvey

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