NHS referrals are triaged via MEDICS Gateway - this is a team of local GPs who endeavour to channel referrals along the most expedient and appropriate pathway. If you have a preference for a particular hospital or clinic you will be accommodated if possible - please remember to state your preference to the referring doctor. Note: if you wish to see a particular consultant this may considerably delay your referral.
If you request a Private Referral you will have control over who you see, when and where, though you may want advice from one of the GPs and you may need the consent of your healthcare insurer. You are responsible for making your appointment and for notifying the referring GP as to the details of that appointment (the who, when and where) so that s/he can prepare a referral letter for you to collect and take with you. Unless the matter is urgent that doctor will normally need five working days notice to prepare such a letter, though it may be possible to fax a brief letter if your appointment is earlier.
There is no charge for a private referral as it is part of medical services, but if you require an insurance claim form to be completed this does attract a fee. Some private referrals such as self-referrals to chiropractors, osteopath and private physiotherapists do not require a doctor's referral letter marked. If you want these consultations to be covered by private health insurance, it is nevertheless vitally important that you request endorsement from one of the doctors in advance of your appointment so that this can be officially entered in your records. This doctor will then be able to complete and sign your claim form. GPs cannot be held responsible for referrals they have not personally made or approved.