When you are referred
When you are referred
A brief outline of how a referral works and what to expect from your first clinic appointment with a hospital doctor or specialist.
In most cases, you will be referred to one of our hospital services by a health professional, e.g. your general practitioner (GP), if they want a specialist to see you or if they believe hospital treatment may be necessary.
- If you meet the criteria for referral, you will be seen by a hospital doctor within four months.
- If you do not meet the criteria for referral, the hospital service will inform you and the person who referred you, and may suggest other actions or treatments.
If your referral is accepted, you will receive a clinic appointment with a hospital doctor. Usually this means coming to the hospital or a clinic for a face-to-face meeting. However in some cases a consultation may be done online using a secure online system like Telehealth.
- You may have one or more appointments with the hospital doctor. They will decide if you need hospital treatment and how quickly that should happen.
- They will ask you to complete a form which helps them with their assessment.
- You may also be asked to undertake an anaesthetic assessment, either at an appointment or by phone. This is to see whether you are fit enough to have an operation, any preparation that may need to be done, and how long you will need to stay in hospital.
On the wait-list
If it is decided you need surgery or a hospital procedure, the hospital service will put you on the wait-list.
- You will be sent a letter advising you of this.
- We aim to have you booked for surgery or treatment within four months of being put on the wait-list.
Sometimes the hospital will ask you to have additional tests or investigations (e.g. an MRI scan or x-ray) so they can get more information about your condition. This can happen before or after your first appointment with the hospital doctor.
Can’t attend an appointment?
If you can’t get to an appointment, let us know as soon as possible. The phone number is in your appointment letter/card.
- If there is an issue, such as transport, we can provide some advice. We will reschedule you.
- If you keep cancelling or not turning up to appointments, we may remove you from the surgical wait-list and notify your GP.