Referrals to Hospital Services

Fast track referrals

These are urgent referral to investigate symptoms that can be related to Cancer, We will send the referral within 24 hours and you will receive a hospital appointment (which could be a phone consultation) within 14 days. please contact the surgery if you have not heard in that time and please ensure you let the Doctor know if you are not available in the 14 days following the decision to refer.

Referrals to the Central Referral Service

The Central Referral Service (CRS) is a patient-centred service which manages referrals from GP practices in Epping Forest and Harlow. The aim of the service is to provide care closer to home - where it is clinically appropriate to do so. 

The Central Referral Service provides a number of primary care appointments and/or clinical triage  in

  • Dermatology
  • Ophthalmology
  • Orthopaedics
  • Gastroenterology
  • Pain Management
  • Rheumatology
  • Pain Management
  • Deep Vein Thrombosis
  • Minor Surgery and Vasectomy

Why have I been referred to the Central Referral Service?

We have referred you to the Central Referral Service for a specialist opinion to ensure you are seen by the most appropriate service to treat your condition.

What happens now?

After your GP appointment, a referral letter is sent to the CRS, using the secure NHS electronic referral system.

The team at the Central Referral Service will then ensure that your letter is passed to the clinician who specialises in your condition. They will assess your needs based on the information from your GP. If you need an appointment, this could be with a specialist in a specialist clinic or at a hospital of your choice. In some cases the specialist will advise the GP on how to manage your condition and you will not need an appointment at all.

All of this should happen within 7 to 10 days of your appointment with your GP.          

How do I get my appointment?

If you need an appointment, a member of the Central Referral Service team will contact you - by letter - to arrange this, either with the appropriate local service or with instructions on how to book your appointment at the hospital.

It is important that you make sure we have the right address and daytime telephone number for you.

What if I need to get in touch?

For any queries about your referral, please contact the Central Referral Service on: Tel: 0300 303 7300


For more information on all our clinics, directions and the additional services provided see  Stellar Healthcare

Choose and Book Referrals

All other NHS referrals are dealt with through the  Choose and Book (C&B) system.

A referral is typed and added to the C&B web based system.

The Secretarial team will contact you (usually by text) to let you know when you can collect your paperwork or will send it to you direct as an attachment. This is usually completed within 3-5 working days for routine referrals.

You will then book your own appointment using the information in the paperwork provided.

If there are no appointments available for your chosen provider the referral is 'deferred to provider' meaning that the Hospital involved will contact you when an appointment is available. We have no control over the availability of appointments. If you wish to change your chosen provider please contact the surgery and ask to leave a message for the Secretary.

Private referrals

Your referral letter will be typed and you will need to contact your Private Insurance company (unless you are self funding) to gain an authorisation code.

You will then need to contact the Private Health provider of your choice and make the appointment.

Routine Private Referral letters will usually be ready in 5 working days.

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