§ 67. Mr. Patnick
To ask the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will make a statement on the variation in the rates of family doctors' emergency and out-patient referrals.
§ Mrs. Currie
The Government recognise the wide variation in the rates of family doctors' referrals. The reasons for these variations are largely unknown. An increasing number of research workers are active in this field and the Department is currently funding a project in the East Anglian regional health authority to develop an out-patient referral information system. These will help us to understand more fully the underlying behavioural patterns and to what extent these are related to the health needs of patients.