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RCS Response to Department of Health inpatient and outpatient statistics

09 September 2011

Following the publication of Department of Health statistics showing a 4.7% decrease in the number of GP referrals over the past year and a significant slowing of growth in elective admissions Professor Norman Williams, President of the Royal College of Surgeons said:

“These data provide further evidence that rationing by stealth is occurring across the NHS. Such a steep reduction in the number of referrals by GPs suggests that patients are being given limited access to specialist clinical advice and could be missing out on treatments. If correct this is extremely concerning for surgeons across the NHS.

“Stopping referrals is only storing up problems for the future – a time-bomb which will end up costing the NHS and taxpayer more in the long-term. The rise in waiting times for orthopaedic surgery is an indicator that demand for surgery is not reducing and that the issue of rationing needs to be addressed, It wil not go away.”

Notes to editors

  1. The Department of Health released their monthly NHS inpatient and outpatient event statistics on 9 September 2011
  2. The Royal College of Surgeons of England is committed to enabling surgeons to achieve and maintain the highest standards of surgical practice and patient care. Registered charity number: 212808.
  3. If you have any queries please contact:
    Matthew Worrall – Email:; T: 020 7869 6047
    Elaine Towell – Email:; T: 020 7869 6045
    Out-of-hours: 07966 486 832