Whitchurch Medical Centre

029 2062 9601/029 2035 7601

Information to patients regarding referrals.

You agreed with your GP or Primary Care Clinician that your problem needs to be considered by a specialist or a member of their team. You have now been referred onto the hospital. The specialist team will look at the information provided in the referral letter and will decide how quickly you need to be seen in outpatients.

A letter will be sent to you by the hospital to tell you that your referral has been received and giving you some indication of the likely wait.

COVID-19 (the illness caused by Coronavirus) means that we are having to do things differently. Hospitals are doing their best to make sure that all urgent patients can be reviewed, treated and supported as quickly as needed. People who have problems that are not urgent can expect to wait longer than usual. However, we will still work hard to get everybody seen as soon as possible, as we know how distressing and worrying waiting for an appointment can be.

When your turn for an appointment comes it may be different from ones that you have had in the past. The specialist may arrangement to speak with by telephone or by video (like Facetime or WhatsApp), or may ask you to attend places away from hospital. These will all mean you do not travel as far and avoid places where people with COVID-19 are being treated.

It is important that you play your part in your care plan.

· You need to stay safe in line with national guidance on Coronavirus, as issued by Public Health Wales, minimising the need to leave your home : https://phw.nhs.wales/topics/latest-information-on-novel-coronavirus-covid-19/

· You also need to follow any additional medical advice about medication, exercise and diet that your current condition needs.

· If your symptoms worsen then in the first instance please look at the information on your condition on the NHS Direct Wales website – https://www.nhsdirect.wales.nhs.uk or the local health board website.

If your symptoms continue to worsen or change and you feel you cannot manage, please contact your GP practice to explain the change in your condition, as they may need to contact the specialist and inform them of this change.

Health boards will continue to prioritise patients and appointments based on their clinical assessment of their patients in these challenging times.

Please be patient as the NHS continues to work hard to support you.

Thank you for supporting the NHS.