GPs can refuse nurse practitioner referrals

MIPS medico-legal adviser Dr Rob Walters said it was “perfectly reasonable” for GPs to ask not to receive results about patients they were not familiar with as long as GPs exercised their required duty of care.

“The only issue is if there is something significant in the results,” he said.

“Otherwise, if you’ve had a patient that saw you once five years ago and they visit a nurse practitioner and advise them that you’re the regular GP, it’s perfectly reasonable to ask not be sent any more information about that patient.”

Dr Walters was commenting on recent advice issued to GPs by the AMA following a forum with GP groups, nursing bodies and MDOs in response to ongoing queries received from GPs as to the appropriate course of action.

The association said GPs had a professional obligation to review information sent to them by a nurse practitioner and, if the results were clinically