This page gives general guidance about what happens - both before and after referral within the N.H.S and private sectors.

Current N.H.S guidelines recommend that you will be seen by the hospital within 18 weeks of the hospital receiving your referral.

Private referrals - the hospital will normally send an appointment to you within two weeks of seeing the referring clinician. If you wish you may ring the surgery reception and obtain the Consultants Secretary's telephone number and make the appointment direct. Please note that if you make an appointment at very short notice you MUST let us know and we will try to ensure the referral letter is available for you to collect and take with you.

Most tests and investigations the hospital organise go back to the person requesting the test. The GP is not routinely copied in and is not in a position to make comments on results.


N.H.S - Hospitals normally commence treatment and issue the prescription. If for reasons of their pharmacy being closed you have not been able to have your prescription dispensed within the hospital we may (in the majority of cases) convert the 'hospital prescription' to a community 'FP10'. Please though note that this is in addition to our normal workload. We will try to process promptly but may require up to three working days prior to issuing.

If the hospital is writing to us with a drug change/ recommendation then the surgery will NOT issue this prior to receiving written confirmation. If the change to medication is urgent then the hospital will issue themselves.

Private - Private consultations do produce private prescriptions - these are non N.H.S and therefore may incur significant cost (that the insurer probably won't cover).

Generally the surgery is happy to take the consultants prescription as a recommendation and issue a N.H.S prescription, so comments above for the N.H.S hold (please remember that the surgery is NOT private). If you are feel unable to wait until we are able to convert this please take to a local chemist for them to dispense privately.

NHS e-Referral Tracking

If your doctor has referred you to a specialist for further care you will be asked to book your appointment using the ‘NHS e-Referral’ system.

You will receive a letter from us within 2 weeks giving details of how to book your appointment and any passwords you may need.

To track your e-Referral you will need the following details to log into the e-Referral website:

  • Your date of birth
  • Reference number – this will be on the first page of your letter
  • Password – this will be on the second page of your letter

To track an e-Referral, click here.