If your GP feels you need specialist assessment, investigations or treatment, they will refer you to a hospital to be seen by an appropriate specialist. Exceptions are the accident and emergency unit and sexual health clinic where you can self-refer.
How does a GP make a referral?
Your GP will write a referral letter to the specialist, outlining your symptoms and investigations so far.
Can I choose who I see?
You will be given a choice of hospitals by your GP who will write a referral letter to the specialist.
How long will I have to wait for an appointment?
- Waiting times for hospital treatment vary, but you should expect to wait no longer than:
- eighteen weeks to start routine, non-emergency treatment from the date you are referred
- six weeks for any diagnostic tests required as part of your treatment
- two weeks if you're referred urgently with suspected cancer
- two months from GP referral for suspected cancer to treatment
- one month from the date of cancer diagnosis to treatment
- two weeks for a specialist chest pain clinic if you are suffering from chest pains and angina is suspected.
Visit NHS Choices to find out about hospitals in the local area and for more information on waiting times.