What is a referral?

It’s the process the practice follows when your doctor or nurse feels that you would benefit from a specialist opinion. A referral can only be made after you have consulted a doctor or a nurse.

Primary Care Referrals

This is when you are referred for specific specialist investigations or treatment, these are usually routine but can be specified soon or urgent if necessary.

2 Week Wait Referrals

This is when you are referred for an urgent reason usually when cancer is suspected. The hospital should contact you within 2 weeks from the referral being sent.

Emergency Referrals

When the GP/practitioner decides urgent hospital care is needed, they will either admit patient directly to hospital or arrange an ambulance to take the patient to A&E,

How do we refer patients?

Choose and Book Referrals

Where possible, we use the National ‘Choose and Book’ referral system. This gives you more choice and flexibility when you’re being referred for further care.

With this system, you can now:

Book your own appointment or rearrange your appointment.
Most NHS services now use the ‘Choose and Book’ system. However, some services still require manual referrals. In these cases, you’ll get your appointment in the post. You’ll normally wait 6-8 weeks for a confirmation, but this can vary.

The letter which you received from the practice will contain your:

Unique Booking Reference Number (UBRN)
Contact Numbers for booking or rearranging your appointment
Password for your log in.

You’ll need all of these details to:

Book or rearrange your appointment
Check an appointment at a later date
Cancel your appointment

You can find out more about the Choose and Book system here.

Manual Referrals

If you’re referred manually, the hospital/clinic will write to you. Your letter will include your appointment date and time. If you haven’t received an appointment within six weeks, please call the hospital/clinic appointment line for an update on your appointment.

If you are referred via the manual method you will receive a letter from the hospital/clinic with a pre chosen appointment date and time.

If you do not receive an appointment within 6 weeks then you can phone the appointments department of the hospital/clinic to inquire about your appointment.

If at this stage you do not receive an appointment please contact the practice for further advice.

All 2 week wait referrals are currently conducted manually in order to achieve a appointment as soon as possible.

If you have not received an appointment within 3 days either by post or telephone, please contact the practice to follow up the referral on your behalf.

Changing and Cancelling manual appointments

If you want to change or cancel your manual appointment, you’ll need to call the hospital/clinic appointment department to rearrange. The details on how to do this will be provided on the original letter which you already received from the practice.