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GP Referral Letters To the letter

Referral letters are an essential part of a GP’s job that not only convey vital patient health information to specialist healthcare professionals, but also show a level of care and expertise on the part of the referring clinician.

‘Referral letters are a fundamental way of marketing your clinical skills, knowledge and professionalism,’ Dr Chris Bollen, an Adelaide GP told Good Practice.

As a GP who works in his own practice and in a large public hospital, and a former CEO of the Adelaide North East Division of General Practice, Bollen has signifi cant experience working with specialists and primary health professionals. It was this insight that helped plant the seed for his recent study, ‘Has accreditation made a difference to the quality of GP referral letters?’

Speaking with various health practitioners regarding referrals, Bollen found a number of specialists raised concerns about a lack of detail in GPs’ letters

‘Some examples of the issues were that examination fi ndings might be left out and the history of management, what the GP had actually done about the particular problem, was missing,’ he said.