GPs are likely to face increased scrutiny as figures published today (21 January 2010) show a 6% growth in hospital admissions and in addition that the growth varies from PCT to PCT by as much as 28%.
Researchers at healthcare information provider CHKS looked at total emergency and elective hospital admissions for the year to March 2009 and compared them with the previous year's admissions. They found that the variation between the PCT with the highest admissions and the PCT with the lowest admissions was 28%.
Dr Paul Robinson, Head of Market Intelligence at CHKS, said: "The findings of our latest analysis are significant because it means that some PCTs have a lot to do to curb admissions.
"With PCTs facing a funding squeeze, one area where PCTs clearly have to focus their attention is inpatient activity. This means they will inevitably be looking at GP referrals into hospital, as well as referrals from other sources such as NHS Direct.
Dr Robinson added that the 6% average increase was a concern: "If the growth in admissions stays at the same level the NHS is in danger of going bankrupt," he said.