What Happens When You Are Referred By Your GP To See A Specialist?
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.
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.
You can find more information about referrals in the What happens when you are referred by your GP to see a specialist Leaflet
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