Waiting for hospital referrals

We are very aware of the difficulties of waiting for further assessment and treatment in hospital, especially if you are in pain or are worried about your diagnosis. Understandably some of you are asking us about the state of your referral and if you can be seen sooner.

Our hospital colleagues are working very hard to see you as swiftly as possible. It is very difficult to bring any appointments forward, as everyone else in the queue also needs seeing as soon as possible. It is even possible that the growing volume of activity to check the status of referrals is impeding the ability of colleagues to work through the backlog.

The following may help reassure you about when to contact someone for further advice or when to continue to be patient. Please remember at all times if you think your condition is becoming urgent we always want you to contact us.

Urgent referrals

  • If we have referred you on an urgent pathway e.g. for suspected cancer, but have not received confirmation of the referral and a firm date to be seen by 2 weeks from the referral date you should contact us to check the referral is correctly logged.

Standard (routine) referrals

  • If we have referred you on a standard pathway but you have not heard from the hospital by six weeks from the referral date, contact us and we will check that the referral is correctly logged.
  • If you receive confirmation of your referral by phone or post, but have not been given an appointment date by the time another three months has elapsed, you can use the contact details in the confirmation to enquire about where you are in the queue. Please be patient if you get an answerphone and be prepared to try more than once as there is a lot of traffic on these contact lines. We only have access to the same contact details as you so please do not contact us at the surgery. Checking up routine referrals in this way ties up our administration team from other duties such as making fresh referrals promptly.

We can only make requests for you to be seen sooner if your clinical condition has deteriorated so please do not ask us to do this if your symptoms remain the same as they were when you were referred. If your condition has got worse, book an appointment so we can review your case.

Thank you for your continued patience and for helping us and the whole the NHS to work as well as possible for everyone according to their clinical need.