When we are unable to provide a service in the surgery or need additional help to manage your condition we may discuss with you the possibility of referral elsewhere. This may be to a hospital (in which case we will offer you a choice of which one) or to an increasing number of other specialist services. This could also be to other members of the surgery team, so that we use the full surgery expertise.
We usually use an electronic referral system (eRS) which enables us to send the referral letter electronically through the NHS spine. We may be able to make your hospital appointment during the consultation or generate a unique booking reference number and password that we will give to you so that you can make your own appointment as soon as you get home. You can rearrange the appointment by following the instructions on the sheets, but please don’t leave it to the last minute as we will have to do the whole thing again, taking up to half an hour each time.
We will offer you a copy of your referral letter (so you know what we have written about you) if you want one. If there are any errors please let us know as soon as possible so that we can correct the letter and your computer record.
We have a number of NHS booklets explaining this system and summarising the local hospitals. We also have a booklet with information about hospital referrals and advice on how to get the best out of the appointment. Most hospitals now have this information on their websites with links from NHS Choices.