Bupa is rolling out a new system called Open Referral to all members.

With Open Referral members will get a referral from their GP that specifies which type of specialist they should see but does not name a specific consultant or hospital.

The member then calls Bupa for a choice of consultants and if necessary, a choice of hospitals where they can be treated. The options given are based on the patient’s clinical need, distance from their home address, whether the consultant charges within Bupa guidelines or not and data about the consultant’s practices and patterns.

Bupa uses over 11,000 approved consultants for Open Referral.

Open Referral will mean that shortfalls are a thing of the past and that Anesthetist fees will be paid in full.