What is a referral?

It’s the process that happens 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 nurse. There are several different areas to we can refer to.

Primary care referrals

This is when you’re referred to community based environment. Examples include the community diabetic team, and the antenatal referral.

Secondary care referrals

This is when you’re referred to hospital.

Emergency referral

If the clinician feels that your problem is urgent, you’ll be referred to the Quick and Early Diagnosis team (QED). This QED team aims to review patients within two weeks.

How do we refer patients?

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:

Choose from a list of hospitals that offer the service you need
Book your own 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.

Choose and Book referrals

You can collect your booking details within 76 hours of you being referred by your doctor or nurse.

We’ll contact you when your document is ready to collect from our reception. Your document will contain your:

Unique Booking Reference Number (UBRN)
Choice of Hospitals
Contact Numbers for booking your appointment
Password
You’ll need all of these details to:

Book your appointment
Check an appointment at a later date
Cancel your appointment
Next you’ll need to choose which hospital you’d like to attend, from the list you were given. You can do this online, or by clicking here.

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

Manual Referrals

If you’re referred manually, the service will write to you. Your letter will include your appointment date and time. If you haven’t had an appointment within six weeks? Please call the service’s appointment line.

If you are referred via the manual method you will receive a letter from the service 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 service to confirm the appointment.

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

All Emergency referrals are currently conducted manually in order to achieve a medical appointment as soon as possible.

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

Changing and cancelling manual appointments

Want to change or cancel your manual appointment? Then you’ll need to call the service provider’s appointment department. Their phone number will be on the letter you get.

Patient information leaflet: 

Please see the useful patient information leaflet “What happens when you are referred”

https://www.nhs.uk/NHSEngland/AboutNHSservices/doctors/Documents/What-happens-when-you-are-referred.pdf 

Physiotherapy Self-Referral

Please see our “How Do I” section for more Physiotherapy Self Help & Referral information.