When we make a private referral from a GP to a specialist, there are additional steps for you to take as a patient.
Private Referral Process
- You ask the GP for a private referral and the GP agrees to make the referral.
- The GP will then dictate a letter that will be typed by the secretarial team.
- The letter will then be sent to you via post or e-mail.
- If using health insurance, the next step is for you to consult your insurance provider and give them a copy of the GP letter. They will let you know if the referral is accepted under your policy and which hospitals you can use under your cover.
- You then need to arrange the appointment by contacting the private hospital directly. A list of local hospitals are provided below.
Where are the local private hospitals?
Can the GP recommend a particular specialist?
Sometimes your GP may know a good specialist who does private work in the clinical area you require. In that situation, they may make a recommendation. The practice receives no benefit from such referrals. You are not obliged to follow this recommendation and are free to choose another specialist if you prefer.
Does the practice charge for private referrals?
No, private referral letters are provided free of charge.
What if my insurance declines the referral?
If your private insurer declines the referral, you need to make another appointment with your GP to discuss alternative arrangements. It is not always possible to arrange a secondary care referral on the NHS as some NHS specialist services are limited by referral criteria. Your GP will be able to explain this further.
Last modified: November 3, 2021