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What happens once you have been referred to see a specialist

Your GP will discuss with you and, if appropriate, your carer, about why a referral is being recommended. It is usually because your GP wants a specialist’s help in deciding on the best way to treat your condition. This might involve referring you for tests or investigations that cannot be carried out in a GP surgery. Your GP will also discuss with you what choices there are for where you can be referred.

How will I hear about where and when the appointment is?

Sheringham Medical Practice sends the majority of their referrals to the referral management service (RMS). Once they have received your referral they will contact you, by telephone in the first instance, to arrange your hospital appointment. They will discuss with you the choices available to you on which hospital you can attend at a time suitable to you. They will try to contact you three times by telephone before they will book an appointment on your behalf and put the details in the post.

What happens if I need a test or Investigation?

Normally, if the specialist thinks you need any test, investigation or surgical procedure, the specialist is responsible for:

  • Arranging the test, investigation or procedure, explaining how and when you will receive a date and what to do if the date is not suitable for you.
  • Giving you the results and explaining what they mean (this may be done in a separate appointment with the specialist or by letter).

If the specialist requires blood tests they should give you a blood test request form which you can take to Cromer Hospital. The phlebotomy department at Cromer Hospital is open Monday to Friday 08:30-16:30.

If you haven’t heard from your specialist about a test result please contact their secretary at the hospital. If you don’t have their direct number then please call Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital switchboard on 01603 286 286 and ask to be transferred to your specialist secretary.

Unfortunately your surgery may not know the result and will not know what the specialist intended to do with the information.

What happens if I need new medicines?

The specialist might suggest prescribing new medicines for you or might want you to make changes to the medicines that you are already taking.

The specialist is responsible for:

  • Giving you the first prescription for any new medicine that you need to start taking straight away.
  • Giving you enough medicine to last at least the first seven days, unless you need to take the medicine for a shorter time. After this, you will need to contact your GP surgery if another prescription is required.

If you are uncertain what changes the specialist is making to your medicines, please ask them to explain it to you at the appointment. It saves you having to see your GP to discuss something your GP may only know about from a short letter of   explanation.

Upon notification of any medicine changes from the specialist, your surgery will automatically update information and add the medication change to your repeat list on their computer system. You will then be able to order more, without an appointment with a GP.  You may need to telephone your surgery to confirm this, or use our online services.

Follow up appointments

The specialist will discuss with you whether you should attend hospital for ongoing    follow-up care or whether you should be discharged back to the care of your GP. If the specialist thinks you do need to be seen by them again, the hospital will give you another appointment or tell you when to expect this. If you do not hear anything about this appointment, please speak to the specialist’s secretary rather than your GP surgery.

In Summary

Your specialist is responsible for:

  • Requesting and acting upon all of the tests they require you to have.
  • Providing you with prescriptions when required.
  • Issuing you with a sick note if you are unable to work as a  result of the treatment provided by your specialist.
  • Providing you with a follow up  appointment if necessary.