The Brooke Surgery

20 Market Street, Hyde, SK14 1AT

Telephone: 0161 368 3312

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Referral to see a Specialist

The leaflet below describes what you can expect to happen when your GP refers you to see a specialist of consultant, at a hospital or community health centre.

Specialist Consulting

The leaflet covers topics such as what a specialist referral is, when and why a specialist referral may be necessary, and how referrals work. It also provides guidance on how patients can prepare for their referral, what to expect during the referral process and how to follow up on a specialist referral. 

How to Get a Referral from a Doctor

To get a referral from a doctor, the first step is to schedule an appointment with the GP. During the appointment, explain the medical issue or concern you have, and ask the doctor if they believe you need to see a specialist. If they agree that a specialist is necessary, ask them to provide you with a referral. The doctor will typically write a letter or provide a form that you can take to the specialist. It’s important to follow up to ensure they have received the referral and to schedule an appointment with them.

Patient information leaflet for referrals

Can my GP Refuse to Refer me to a Specialist?

In some cases, your GP may refuse to refer you to a specialist, although this is relatively rare. The reasons for this may vary, but they could include the belief that your condition doesn’t require specialist treatment, the availability of alternative treatment options, or concerns about the cost or potential risks associated with the referral. 

However, if you feel that a referral is necessary and your GP is unwilling to provide one, you have the right to seek a second opinion from another healthcare provider. It’s important to remember that your GP is your primary healthcare provider and is responsible for your overall healthcare needs. They should always act in your best interests, and if you have concerns about their decisions or recommendations, you should discuss them openly and honestly.

If you are unable to open the leaflet, all of the information can be found below:

Seeing your GP

Why have I been referred?

Your GP will discuss with you and, if appropriate, your carer, about why a referral is being recommended. It is usually because your GP wants a specialist’s help in deciding on the best way to treat your condition. This might involve referring you for tests or investigations that cannot be carried out in a GP surgery. Your GP will also discuss with you what choices there are for where you can be referred.

How will I hear about where and when the appointment is?

GP practices and hospitals use different ways of arranging appointments. Your GP practice may give you a reference number and a password you can use to book, change or cancel your appointment online or by phone. In time, more and more GP practices will refer patients in this way. 

You may receive a letter from the hospital confirming your appointment. You need to reply as soon as possible and tell the hospital if you can attend on the date offered. Alternatively, sometimes patients receive a letter asking them to phone the hospital to make an appointment with a specialist.

Seeing the Specialist

What happens if I need a test or procedure?

Normally, if the specialist thinks you need any test, investigation or surgical procedure, the specialist is responsible for arranging the test, investigation or procedure, explaining how and when you will receive a date and what to do if the date is not suitable for you; and giving you the results and explaining what they mean (this may be done in a separate appointment with the specialist or by letter).

What happens if I need new medicines?

The specialist might suggest prescribing new medicines for you or might want to make changes to the medicines that you are already taking.

The specialist is responsible for giving you the first prescription for any new medicine that you need to start taking straightaway; and giving you enough medicine to last at least the first seven days, unless you need to take the medicine for a shorter time. After this, you will need to contact your GP if another prescription is required. 

It is important that you understand whether you need to start any new medicines, or whether the specialist has changed the medicines you already take, so ask the specialist if you are not sure. In some cases, your GP will not be able to prescribe certain medicines and you will need to continue to receive these from the hospital. You will be told about this at your appointment.

What if I need a Fit Note (previously known as Sick Note)?

If you need to be certified as unfit for work following treatment by a specialist the specialist should issue you with a Fit Note. The Fit Note should cover the period they expect you to be unfit to work, or until your next contact with the specialist.

You should not need to see your GP to get a Fit Note following hospital treatment, unless your inability to work is unexpectedly prolonged.

What if I need a follow-up appointment?

The specialist will discuss with you whether you should attend the hospital for ongoing follow-up care or whether you should be discharged back to your GP. If the specialist thinks you do need to be seen again, the hospital will give you another appointment or tell you when to expect this. If you do not hear anything, please contact the specialist’s office, rather than your GP’s surgery.

What do I do if I have any questions?

If you have any specific questions related to your hospital care, your specialist will be able to help you with this, so it is important that you make sure you know how you can contact your specialist’s office.

If you have any general questions related to your health, your GP surgery will be able to help you. Get in touch with The Brooke Surgery for further queries.

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  • Monday
    08:00am to 06:30pm
  • Tuesday
    08:00am to 06:30pm
  • Wednesday
    08:00am to 06:30pm
  • Thursday
    08:00am to 06:30pm
    See Staff Training For Closure Dates
  • Friday
    08:00am to 06:30pm
  • Saturday
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