During the coronavirus pandemic, you may have been aware that we have been unable to refer patients to most of the clinics at the hospital. Only urgent referrals could be made.
We have been notified that from Monday 29 June, GPs will be able to refer any patient requiring advice from a specialist healthcare professional.
However, due to the ongoing situation, the service provided by the specialist may be different to that in the past. Specialists will try and assess patients remotely, although there will obviously be some occasions where patients may need to attend the hospital for investigations.
GPs are also being encouraged to use a specialist service called ‘Advice and Guidance’. This electronic service allows the GP to seek specialist advice from the hospital. An electronic letter is sent to the specialist and we have been informed that we should expect a reply within 2 days. Any advice offered by the specialist can then be discussed between the GP and patient and may avoid a referral to hospital.
As a practice, we have a large number of referrals in a ‘pending’ folder waiting to be sent from GP consultations over the last few weeks. We will send these referrals from Monday 29 June – if you have been told that this is how your referral would be dealt with, then rest assured it will be sent off – you do not need to contact the surgery.
Dr C Hirst
23 June 2020