WHEN DO YOU NEED A REFERRAL?
A referral is only required when a Clinician feels that there is a clinical need to seek advice or opinion from someone else with specialist knowledge in that field. This can be specialists at the hospital, Other GPs in the area with specialist knowledge, interest and expertise in a given field or another healthcare professionals, such as physiotherapist, occupational therapists, counsellors, etc. Some of the referrals to certain specialists need to be done in line with local policy, set by the West Essex Clinical Commisioning Group (CCG). Therefore in those cases the clinicians are bound to follow those rules and regulations and is out of our control.
HOW DOES THE REFERRAL PROCESS WORK?
once the Clinician has decided to make the referral, he/she will inform the secretary to generate a Choose & Book paperwork (which inclused username and password), which will be sent to patient's address. The patient can then book their appointment based on their preferred time, date and the hospital/clinic they want to be seen. This can be done either online or by calling 0345 608 8888. For more information about how Choose and Book works, please click here.
There are some referrals that we may make to non-hospital based specialist services known as central referral services (CRS). These tend to be dermatology, orthopaedics, minor surgery, some rheumatological conditions, pain management clinic, ophthalmology, gastroenterology/endoscopy and vasectomy clinic. If you have been referred through this process again you will be sent an access code. The CRS will then send an appointment letter with date and time of the appointment. Sometimes the patient may get a letter with choice of hospitals for them to choose from. more infortmation about CRS can be found here.
For Fast track referrals (suspected cancer referrals) patient will be informed of appointment from the Choose and Book system and also text message to their mobile phone if one is recorded in the record. If you have been referred for fast track referral for possible cancer and you do not hear about your appointment within 2 weeks of seeing your GP, then you must contact us immediately.
CHASING UP REFERRALS
If you have been referred and have not had any communications from the hospital/clinic in 4-6 weeks (two weeks in the case of a fast track cancer referral), you can now chase this up by either calling the hospitals appointments line on 01279 827391.
Similarly for those patients who have already been seen in a clinic once and awaiting further follow up, it is best to call the secretray of their consultant to get further information about their follow up appointment.