Referrals and Choose and Book


What happens if I need to be referred to a Specialist?

Sometimes your doctor might recommend that you are referred to a specialist to advise or help manage your condition. assist in your continuing care. You will only be referred if your GP feels is clinically necessary in your case. It is likely that your GP will first suggest that you try various tests, or treatment options, to see whether your condition improves before referring you. At the Rycote Practice all non-urgent referrals are peer reviewed by GP colleagues to ensure that all options have been explored prior to referral and that the most appropriate course of treatment is being sought.

A specialist will only see you with a letter of referral from your GP. The letter will give the specialist essential background information, such as your medical history, and it will also contain details for the specialist to pay particular attention to. Please note that if your referral is not urgent, it may take several days for your referral letter to be dictated, typed and checked for clinical accuracy. Once finalised, your referral letter will be processed through the secure NHS Choose and Book system.

What is Choose & Book?

Choose and Book is an electronic booking service for people living in England. It allows you to choose from different hospitals and clinics across England (including some private hospitals). You can also choose the time and date of your first outpatient appointment. The practice tries to ensure that all referrals are made via Choose & Book if services are available on this system. Physiotherapy, Podiatry and 2 week wait referrals are not currently made via Choose & Book.

What do I need to know if I am referred via Choose & Book?

Your GP will dictate a referral letter to a consultant at the hospital of your choice. This will then be processed by the secretary at the practice.

We will try to book your appointment before you leave the practice after seeing the GP. At busy times this service may not be available if this is the case the following will apply.

You should receive the paperwork for your referral within 7 days. Some appointments can be booked and cancelled online. If you have any questions or problems in making your appointment the secretary 

Arlene Taylor will be happy to assist. Please telephone on 01254 300250 option 7 after 10am daily.

What happens if I would like a private referral?

If your GP thinks you need specialist treatment and you want to pay for it privately, they will write a letter of referral to a private consultant or specialist explaining your condition and your medical history in exactly the same way.

If you have private medical or health insurance and would like to use this to cover the costs of your treatment, it may be sensible to check your policy to find out:

  • if your policy covers the treatment you need
  • whether your insurance company accepts consultant referrals from GPs or if it has its own list of consultants
  • when you need to contact your insurance company to tell them you’ve been referred for treatment

If you make a claim for treatment under your private medical insurance, some sections of the claim form will probably need to be completed by a doctor.

In most cases, the doctor who provides your treatment will be the best person to complete the form, because they will have the information required. Please be aware that if you ask your your GP to complete this form there may be a charge.