The Co-operation and Competition Panel (CPP) is developing informal advice on arrangements that seek to manage referral processes. The CCP seeks to set out how the existing rules for protecting patient choice might apply when, for example, GPs or other healthcare providers operate referral management systems and where financial incentives apply.

The CCP have sought examples of how local referral management processes work and any costs or benefits of these arrangements for patients and taxpayers. The CCP will be reviewing these sorts of arrangements to understand better the processes and identify good practice.

As these issues have broader application to the design and commissioning of patient treatment pathways, the CCP have decided to provide some informal advice using case studies to illustrate how the principles and rules might apply to these sorts of arrangements.

The CCP’s advice is expected in autumn 2012.