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Online access to your NHS referrals

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If you’ve been referred to a specialist through the NHS e-Referral Service, you can
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Our automated digital assistant can help with online access to manage and check your NHS referrals

Our chatbot is an easy way to access a range of help and guidance to get set up online and best utilise your online services.
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Practice process for referrals

NHS referrals
If as a result of an appointment your clinician feels you need an NHS referral you will receive a contact (by text or letter) from the surgery within 7 – 10 days either with your appointment details or with instructions on how to book your appointment. Please note for NHS referrals once the referral has been done GP practices do not have control over appointments. How to change appointments and are other common queries are explained in the section below on NHS referrals, 

Private referrals Private referral policy

Private care contact detail
Contact details for local private hospitals can be found under Local Contact Details and Service Finder.

NHS referrals

Management of hospital appointments

Information on how to manage your NHS hospital appointment can be found under “How to change your appointment details, change or cancel your appointment, or cancel your referral” (outpatient local support) in Hospital which includes some local hospital contact details. In brief, GP practices do not have any control over the appointments system once they have done the referral, so you are always best contacting the hospital directly with any appointment issues. A summary of your two options with managing hospital appointments is found below.

NHS e-referral service
You can use the NHS e-Referral Service if you have received a letter saying you can use this system.
Find out more about using the e-Referral Service

Contact the hospital directly
You can book, cancel or change a hospital appointment by contacting a hospital directly by phone. Under Local Contact Details and Service Finder there are links to local hospital contact details. The websites in many cases include direct appointments number.

Other common NHS referral topics are covered below:

Contacting patient advice and liaison service
If you are unable to manage your appointment satisfactorily using the NHS e-referral service and contacting the hospital directly, then you can contact the PALS team associated with the hospital you have been referred to. Their contact details can be found under Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) and other support

Community services referrals (including to the physiotherapy team)
Once a referral has been completed by a GP practice (if a self-referral route is not available) then the organisation you have been referred to takes over full responsibility for this referral including any follow up appointments. If you have any issues including around delays in appointments or needing to change an appointment you should contact the organisation directly. There is further information including contact details for some of the common local community services under NHS community services (Adults) and NHS Community services (Children).

Waiting times and operation information
You can find local hospital outpatient waiting times and information on the operations/ procedures they undertake, see under

If you require more prolonged treatment (such as surgery) remember if you do choose a hospital further away than your local hospital that if you decide to switch back to your local hospital this is not a quick process and can disrupt your treatment.

Early diagnosis of a disease may mean more effective treatment and better outcomes. For this reason, where there is a possibility that symptoms could indicate cancer, people are referred urgently to see a specialist (on what is called a ‘two-week pathway’). The great majority of people referred this way do not have cancer, but it is important to see a specialist as soon as possible to confirm or exclude a cancer diagnosis.

This is explained further under Urgent Referral to Exclude Cancer. This includes information on what to expect and who to contact if there are any issues with getting the appointment within 2 weeks. There are also links to other support available.

Under Conditions which may not be funded on the NHS all the treatments which may not be funded under the NHS are included. To search all the treatments considered “low priority” look under “What treatments are usually not funded” in the frequently asked questions section.


Self-referral involves accessing NHS health services and other support yourself without needing an appointment with your GP. This is explained further by patient info Self-referral | Patient. There are a large number of local self-referral routes, many are covered under Bucks Health Hub. We have listed some of the more common self-referrals under Contact Details and self-referral.

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