What happens when you are referred by your GP to see a specialist?

You are entitled to ask for a referral for specialist treatment on the NHS. However, whether you will get the referral depends on what your GP feels is clinically necessary in your case.

If you wish to be referred to a Specialist in a particular field, such as a Surgeon or a Gynaecologist, you should see the GP you are registered with. This is because all your medical records are held by that Practice. Your GP also generally understands your health history and treatments better than anyone and will base any decision for a specialist referral on this knowledge.

– When you attend your GP please give them details of any unavailability and if you require an interpreter to be in attendance at your appointment. Please also ensure that all contact information is up to date.
– Your GP will then send an electronic referral to the Hospital within your catchment area.
– The practice will send you confirmation of your referral, either by text message or post if no mobile number is available.  Please note that this is for electronic referrals only.
– Your referral is then processed by the Hospital.

You can contact direct the Hospital Department that you have been referred to, if you have any concerns – the details will be on your electronic referral confirmation sent to you by the practice.

Contact the e-Referral Service

You can phone the NHS e-Referral Service line on 0345 6088888 (open Monday to Friday, 8am to 8pm and on weekends and bank holidays 8am to 4pm) for further help.

Further Information

Referrals for specialist care – NHS (