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Secretaries and Referrals

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

1. How long do I have to wait for my referral appointment?
• We aim to send all referrals out to providers within 7 working days maximum.
• If your Doctor has referred you routinely to the hospital, you should be contacted by phone initially (please ensure your address & tel no are correct at the Surgery). If they cannot contact you they will then send out a letter requesting you to contact them. This should be within 2 weeks of your consultation. The hospital departments all have different waiting times for appointments, you will be told at booking an approximation of how long the waiting time will be (Christmas/Easter/Bank Holidays will require extra time).
• If you have been referred to a service in the Community, please give at least three weeks before you contact us requesting follow up. This information will be sent directly from the service you have been referred to.
• If you have been referred onto the Fast Track Service you should have a booking within 2 weeks. If you have not heard from the Hospital or Referral Support Service (RSS) then please contact the surgery.
2. What if I have a holiday booked?
• Please tell your GP in your initial appointment so that we can put the information onto the referral, this is especially relevant if you are referred for a Fast Track appointment.
3. Do I get a choice over where I’m treated?
• Yes, you always have choice. You should discuss this with the GP at your initial appointment. If this didn’t happen then when you speak to the RSS you will be offered choices by them.
4. I’ve lost my password, what now?
• Please ring the Referral Support Service on 0300 303 8676, they will be able to give you your password and help you book your appointment.
5. What is the Paper Switch Off (PSO)?
• As part of NHS national policy from 1/10/2018 all GP referrals to secondary care must be made via an electronic system. We are trying to cut down the use of paper and reducing the need for post/faxes which can result in lost paperwork. We are working towards a 100% paperless NHS. We use Emails and an electronic eReferral system whenever possible. Some services, like Urgent Care, are not available through these systems yet.


    • Routine Referral Information

      1. YOUR REFERRAL
      You have been referred for further advice, investigations and/or treatment.

      2. YOUR DETAILS
      Please check your details are correct and inform us of any changes – Name, Address, Tel No, Email.

      3. YOUR APPOINTMENT
      If you have not heard anything about your appointment date within 2 weeks for an Urgent/2Week referral OR 4 weeks for a routine referral; please phone the practice and ask for Secretaries (option 4).

      For referrals through the hospital you should be contacted by the Referral Support Service to book your appointment by telephone within 48hrs. If they cannot contact you they will send out a letter. The letter will ask for you to contact them and may give you a password. If you lose the password please call 03003038676 for a new one.

      When you are offered an appointment date (by post or phone) please do your best to fit in with this. If you cannot keep the appointment please let the hospital know as soon as possible. Your appointment will be made as soon as possible. Whilst waiting to be seen, it is our policy not to chase or expedite appointments, as this can cause an unnecessary burden on resources. If however your condition significantly changes or worsens whilst waiting, please do contact us.

      If you have been referred urgently or under the “Two Week Wait Suspected Cancer” system, please attend your appointment within the specified time frame. Whilst the majority of patients do not have cancer, it is important that you are seen quickly so serious illness can be excluded and your mind put at rest. Also if you do need treatment, this can be started quickly which often leads to a better outcome.

      Preparing for your appointment
      You might want to prepare and write down some questions to ask at your appointment. You can also bring someone with you to your appointment, as it can be helpful to have a friend or a relative with you.

      Your checklist for your appointment
      • Have I understood everything and has a Patient Information Leaflet (PIL) been supplied if needed?
      • If I need a Fit Note, has the hospital provided me with one that covers the length of time required?
      • If I need to start taking a new medicine straightaway, has the hospital provided me with a supply to last at least seven days (or less, if I need to take the medicine for a shorter period)?
      • Do I understand what the medication is for, how to take it and any potential side effects?
      • Do I need a hospital follow-up appointment and if so, do I know how this is organised?
      • Do I have the contact details for the specialist’s office if I have a further question?
      • Do I have the contact details of anyone else who can give me more information or support if I need it?

      What do I do if I have any questions?
      If you have any specific questions related to your hospital care, your specialist will be able to help you with this, so it is important that you make sure you know how you can contact your specialist’s office. If you have any general questions related to your health, please contact us on 01904 439100.

    • Fast Track Referral Information (2 week)

      Why have I been referred to hospital to be seen within 2 weeks?

      The ‘two week’ urgent referral system aims to diagnose and treat serious illnesses, including cancer, quickly. It is important to find out why you have your current symptoms. Further specialist advice and possible investigations are now needed. You will be seen by a hospital specialist within the next 14 days.

      Does this mean I have cancer?

      The majority of patients referred under this system have a simple condition and do not have cancer.

      What will happen next?

      You will be contacted (probably by telephone) to arrange an appointment or for tests.

      Why is it important for me to attend the appointment within 2 weeks?

      Treatments for most conditions will be more successful if the diagnosis is made at an early stage.

      The hospital specialist that you see will be able to answer any questions that you have about the tests or treatment that you may need.

      If you choose to delay your appointment to go on holiday, this may affect the terms of your holiday insurance cover.

      If you are unable to attend an appointment you must let the hospital know, so that alternative arrangements can be made.

      Can I bring someone with me to the appointment?

      Yes, you are welcome to bring someone with you for support.

      What should I do if I haven’t heard anything about my referral?

      If you have not heard about your referral within 7 days please contact your GP surgery.

      Please make sure that your surgery has your correct contact details, including home and mobile telephone numbers.

    • Lifestyle Management

      We have been advised by NHS Vale of York CCG that referrals into the below specialties will require completion of an Optimising Outcomes Form (Lifestyle Management), this is in relation to smokers and those with a BMI >30.

      Please check that your weight and smoking information is up to date on your record at your initial consultation.  Please also ensure telephone numbers and address are correct.

      Every patient that needs a referral into the below Surgical Specialities will need to meet the following criteria –

      • BMI must be <30
      • Non-smoker

       We can still refer you but your referral may be put on hold until:

      • You have reduced your BMI to below 30 or have lost 10% of your weight.
      • If the referral is for knee/hip then the BMI must be under 35.
      • If you cannot reach the target your referral can be deferred for 1 year.
      • You have stopped smoking for 8 weeks.

      If you cannot stop smoking your referral can be deferred for 6 months.

      Urgent/2WW and Paediatric referrals are not affected.

      Surgical specialties

      • Cardiothoracic
      • ENT
      • General Surgery
      • Gynaecology
      • Neurosurgery
      • Plastic Surgery
      • Urology
      • Vascular surgery
      • Breast surgery
      • Colorectal surgery
      • GI and Liver – all GI and Liver, including lower GI.
      • Orthopaedics
      • Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery – not Dental Surgery

      We appreciate that not all referrals into these specialties will require surgery and for the majority of cases only a consultant opinion will be required but we still have to complete the form in case of future surgery needs.

      The referral will then progress through the Referral Support Service (RSS).  You will be offered an outpatient appointment at your choice of provider and the RSS will send you a letter explaining that if you do need surgery as an outcome of your consultation you will have to meet the BMI and Smoking criteria.