Referrals to specialist services

When your GP and you decide that you need to be referred to a specialist team, at the hospital or local health centre, the referral assessment service will review your referral and assign it a priority. 

Your referral will then be subject to waiting times for these services which, unfortunately, we have no control over. As you will have read in the media, for some of these services waiting times may be frustratingly slow but please be assured everyone is trying their best to help. You can find approximate waiting times on this website North East and Yorkshire – My Planned Care NHS.

In the meantime should your symptoms become worse then you should contact us to book an appointment with the GP.

When you are contacted by the specialist team please make sure that you respond as requested otherwise you risk the referral being cancelled and needing a new referral. To help prevent this, if any of your contact details change whilst awaiting your appointment please contact the specialist team concerned to avoid missing any texts, calls, letters etc.


Expediting a hospital appointment

If you are asked to provide an expedite letter by the consultant's team, we have been told that these have no effect on the priority the service have set on your referral. 

It is very difficult for a GP to measure to what extent your condition has worsened.  We take your word for this, and the hospital should do the same.  When making decisions about who to prioritise it is only possible for the hospital to compare your condition and needs against all the other patients on their waiting list.

We have created two letters for you to use if you want to inform the hospital of a change in your symptoms.  Letter one is for patient waiting for a first appointment with a specialist.  The second letter is for people waiting for a follow-up appointment, treatment, or operation.

Please download the template letter below, completing your details and explaining the change in your symptoms.  The letters are in Word format and only the areas highlighted in yellow can be edited:

1st appointment expedite letter

FUP expedite letter.docx

Once completed, you can email it to us at and we will send it on to the referral assessment team for you, or you can send it directly to the hospital department.