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GP referrals

Specialist treatment is usually arranged by a GP referral if your doctor feels it is appropriate.

Your GP cannot insist that you see a particular consultant or doctor but may recommend a particular consultant who she or he believes is best suited to deal with your issue.  

Your GP will write a referral letter to the specialist with an overview of your condition. You can ask to see a copy of this letter.

Your referral is normally sent electronically to the hospital referral management centre within 1-2 days.  However it can at times take longer such as when your GP needs to discuss or take advice on a referral prior to completing it.

You should be seen at the outpatients department within 12 weeks from the date they receive your referral.  You can read more information on referral to treatment standards here.

You will normally be referred to a NHS Lanarkshire hospital except our patients who reside in the Borders who will normally be referred to services of NHS Borders.

If the hospital you are referred to cannot see you within the treatment time guarantee they may arrange for you to be seen at an alternative hospital.

If you request to be referred to NHS Lothian there is a risk the referral will be rejected as NHS Lothian often decline referrals of patients who reside outside their geographical area.  If your referral is not accepted you will have to be re-referred to an NHS Lanakshire or NHS Borders hospital.  This may result in a delay and you not being seen within the 12 weeks standard.

You can download further information by following the links below:

NHS Lanarkshire Patient Access Policy     

NHS Borders Patient Referrals to other providers

Enquiring about your appointment

If you have not heard about your about your appointment you should contact the respective referral management centres using the contact details below.  Please note the practice is not informed of outpatients appointments scheduled for our patients.

NHS Lanarkshire Referral Management Service

0300 303 0249 - For Wishaw General, Hairmyres and Monklands Hospitals

NHS Borders Appointments Office

01896 826752/826754/826755 - For Borders General Hospital

Seeing a Specialist

When seeing a specialist you should take a similar approach as you would with a GP consultation – be prepared with questions and take notes.

After the consultation the specialist will write to your GP with their medical opinion of your health issue. It is likely they will have already addressed this with you face-to-face in the consultation.  Please note It can take several weeks for the letter to arrive with your GP.

As a general rule, any investigations or tests ordered in hospitals or outpatient clinics will be sent to the Consultant or Nurse who ordered them and so any requests for such results should be directed to the hospital secretary.  The specialist will probably wait for the results before writing to your GP.  

You may be copied in to the letter the specialist writes, and if you disagree with the letter or spot an error you should contact the specialist’s secretary.

Private Referrals

If you would like to be referred to a private specialist you should inform your GP who will make the referral on your behalf.

Services that do not require a referral

If you need to use the accident and emergency services or sexual health clinics you do not need a GP referral.  Some services such as substance misuse or some alcohol services also run drop-in appointments where a GP referral is not needed.

The Kello Hospital has a 24 hours walk-in centre for minor injuries and as above a GP referral is not needed.  

Referrals to hospital and other services