When you visit your GP with a health concern they may refer you to a hospital or community service to see a specialist. For example, if you are experiencing a skin or stomach issue your GP may refer you to a hospital or community service who will then decide what your next appropriate step will be.
This is done electronically between your GP surgery and the hospital or community service, known as a virtual appointment or virtual clinic. This currently includes any service for dermatology (via HealthHarmonie) or gastroenterology services (Cannock Chase Hospital and New Cross Hospital – run by Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust).
When the next appropriate step is decided you will be contacted by the hospital or community service. This often includes an appointment with a specialist or to have further tests.
What if I get an appointment showing a time in the early morning (i.e. 00:00 – 03:00)?
This is not an appointment for you to attend – this is how the system records your referral electronically between the GP surgery and the hospital or community service. If you have received this, this is in error. Your referral appointment will be communicated directly with you by the appropriate hospital or community service.
A referral to a Specialist
This leaflet "Patient Leaflet Specialists" has been developed which provides guidance on what to expect when you are referred by your GP to see a Specialist (or therapist). Please download and read this information carefully – it may save you an unnecessary trip to the Surgery by talking this process through with your Specialist.