§ Mr. Redmond
To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will consider holding centrally information on health authorities which place limitations on extra-contractual referrals.
§ Dr. Mawhinney
No. The management of the extra-contractual referral process is the responsibility of district health authorities as agreed with regional health authorities. The majority of ECR requests are approved, as the grounds on which an ECR can be refused are very limited and purchasers are expected to respect the referring clinician's judgment. It would not be appropriate to collect this information centrally.