Hospital Referrals


E-Referrals is the centralised appointment booking system to which nearly all hospitals in the UK are now linked. The basic idea behind E-Referrals is that control of your referrals and hospital appointments is transferred to you, the patient:

After deciding to proceed with a referral, you and your GP should pick a shortlist of up to five hospitals or clinics that you would like to attend. An appointment request to those hospitals is made there and then in the consultation.

Your GP will then print off a form with your booking reference number, NHS number, password, the list of hospitals and instructions on how to turn the appointment request into a confirmed booking – either by phone or online.

The real advantages of the system lie in this booking stage – particularly if you use the online booking system. After logging into E-Referrals with the details provided on the form you will see a selection of available appointments from all of your short listed hospitals – you can then pick the exact time and date that suits you best. You can log in and change your appointment as often as you like, regularly check for any earlier cancellations and cancel your own appointment if needs be – all without a minute spent on hold at a busy hospital switchboard!

We recommend browsing the E-Referrals website as it contains much more detailed information about how to use the system.

Please note that once you have been referred you need to chase your own appointment with the hospital

Other NHS Referrals

Whilst E-Referrals is now the main way of referring patients on the NHS, there are still some services that are not available on that system.

Two Week Rule (Suspected Cancer Referrals)
A highly successful national programme, the Two Week Rule referral system sees all patients who are referred with suspected cancer are given an initial appointment with a hospital consultant who has a special interest in their type of suspected cancer within two weeks, without fail.

We send these referrals directly to the Two Week Rule department at the relevant hospital. The hospital should contact you within 4-5 days of receipt of the referral and usually sends confirmation to Thurleigh Road with details of the appointment date and time. However, if the hospital has not contacted you within 10 working days of your referral, please contact the practice.

Rapid Access Clinics
St George’s Hospital in Tooting is our nearest and most commonly referred to hospital. They run Rapid Access Chest Pain, Fracture, Emergency Eye, Acute Gynaecology, Early Pregnancy Unit, Paediatric and Neurosurgical Clinics all of which require a referral from a GP to attend and which fast-track clinically urgent patients. We send these referrals directly to the clinics at St George’s.

St John’s Therapy Centre
Almost all referrals to St John’s are sent directly to the clinic. Once your referral has been processed, you will be sent a letter from the Therapy Centre giving you a number to ring to book your appointment. Please look out for this letter.

Private Referrals

Our clinicians have excellent relationships with specialists throughout London. We are very happy to refer our NHS patients to private healthcare providers, if requested, and do so on a regular basis.

You will usually need to consult with one of our GPs before a private referral can be written.

For minor problems, such as straightforward physiotherapy, or a recurrence of a problem for which you have previously seen your GP, a referral might be possible via a telephone consultation. For more serious or newly arising problems, for which we have no previous record, we suggest making an appointment to see a GP for review, before proceeding with the referral.

Referral Letters

A private referral letter will be available for collection at the surgery 5 working days following your consultation with the GP. Following a referral by your doctor, who will give you the contact details of the specialist, we would simply ask you to book your appointment then call in at the surgery after the five days have passed, to collect your letter.

Unless clinically urgent, when special provisions can be made to expedite this process, it would be preferable to book an appointment after these five days have passed, in order to ensure the relevant paperwork is ready to take with you. It may be possible to provide a referral letter for simple matters during your consultation with the GP, depending on the nature of the problem.

Please note that once you have been referred you need to chase your own appointment with the hospital

Private Health Insurance Claim Form

If you make a claim on your health insurance, your provider may require a private claim form to be completed by your referring GP.

Some providers will need the form to be completed before they will agree to fund your private treatment, others will accept forms after treatment has taken place – please check your cover with the insurers before seeing your specialist to avoid any confusion.

Your provider will usually issue you with the claim form directly. It should then be forwarded, with a covering letter, to Eva Stoklosa in our administrative team.

Completion of these forms can be time consuming, usually involves reading your entire medical record and carries a considerable responsibility. Like most practices, we therefore charge an administrative fee of £40 for this non-NHS work, payable as the forms are dropped off. This fee may or may not be covered by your provider.