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.

Further Information

Visit NHS Choices​ to find out about hospitals in the local area and for more information on waiting times.

 Further Information

​Visit NHS Choices to find out about hospitals​ in the local area.