If the GP feels it is necessary to refer you or your family to see a hospital consultant, they will write to the consultant detailing the history of your condition, any medication currently prescribed and the results of any tests or investigations conducted. The GP will prioritise your referral by noting whether your referral is routine or urgent. The referral is then processed by our medical secretaries, who will turn the letter around within a few days, or on the same day, if urgent.
Many of these referrals will be processed through an electronic service called Choose and Book. This allows you to choose a hospital or clinic and to choose the date and time of your appointment with a specialist. You will be given some paperwork with a booking reference number, password and a telephone number for you to ring to book your appointment.
The consultant at the hospital, on reading the GP’s letter, will determine how quickly you need to be seen and an appointment will be sent out to you in due course, if it hasn't been processed through Choose and Book. Should you have any further queries relating to your hospital appointment, please contact the consultant’s secretary for more information.
The GP’s receive a letter informing them of any missed outpatient appointments, the practice follows this up by contacting you regarding your missed appointment. Should you need to cancel or rearrange your hospital appointment, please contact the hospital to do so. The government’s latest directive on choice is designed to offer the patient real choice in where to receive their treatments but also to reduce the number of missed appointments by allowing the patient to contact the hospital to make their appointment, offering more flexibility and a shift of responsibility on to you – the patient!