Referral for further advice or care is a decision that your GP or nurse will take with you. If you feel you need further help, please discuss it with them.
To keep the process easy and convenient for you, the practice will endeavour to provide as much of your investigation and care as possible in the practice or locally in the community.
If you have private medical insurance and you wish to use it, please let the GP or nurse know straight away. This helps avoid starting the process for an NHS referral only to have to change to a private route later.
If your GP or nurse practitioner sees you and agrees you need further advice from someone outside of the practice, your GP or nurse will discuss with you some of the options for your care. There are an increasing number of clinics run in community settings with highly skilled clinicians who have extended training to manage particular types of condition, including skin problems, joint and muscle problems and diabetes. They work with input from specialist consultants. These are sometimes called Professionals with Special Interest.
If you need advice from someone in a hospital, your GP or nurse will discuss with you which hospital you wish to be referred to. This is referred to in the NHS as choices. You may, at a later date, be contacted by representatives of the Department of Health to participate in a survey to see whether you have been offered choices.
In choosing where to have your outpatient appointment, you will be choosing where to receive your full treatment, if you need it. This will include your initial outpatient appointment and any other appointments for treatment (for example, inpatient care) or aftercare.
However, if you are not happy with your chosen hospital after your outpatient appointment, your GP can make you an appointment at another hospital.
If you need very specialised care, you may need to be referred by your consultant to another hospital. You may also be transferred to another specialty if the hospital doctor and your GP feel that this is more appropriate for your condition.
Your GP or nurse will ensure any agreed choice on a specific hospital doctor and/or hospital, is included in your referral letter. On the other hand, if you have no particular preference or several choices, the letter will make this clear.
Keeping your Appointment
Please keep your appointment and give as much advance notice as possible if you are unable to attend.
Any communication from the hospital will be sent to the Practice. It may be copied to you as well.
Please feel free to discuss any aspect of your referral that you do not understand with your GP at any point during the process.
As a Practice, we monitor the quality of the services we use both in the practice, in the community and at hospitals.