Hello, I’m Jenny, the Team Lead for the Secretarial and Admin staff here at JHP.
I know the last few months have been difficult, and it has not been business as normal for us nor you as patients.
One particular thing that has been affected has been your referrals to hospital specialists. I’m pleased to say that this is now starting to return to normal, so I wanted to set out how the process works and what to expect if you are waiting to be referred.
Restarting Routine Referrals
From 1st June most departments in Hospitals in Newcastle and Gateshead have begun accepting referrals again, having been suspended because of Covid-19.
Our team here at JHP has been working through the patient referrals we have here. If you were previously asked by one of our clinical team to contact us to be referred at a later date, then you can now do so. If the particular department you need is not yet taking referrals, we will add you to a waiting list and send the request for you as soon as its possible.
To speak to one of the team about a referral, you can call us on 0191 281 4588 – our phone lines are open from 8.15am to 6pm, Monday to Friday.
First thing in the morning is the busiest time on the phones, especially early in the week, so do keep that in mind when calling.
Changes to the Referral Process
As you’d imagine, with referrals having been paused for a number of months, there is a backlog to be worked through. This inevitably means that things will take longer than normal, but to help deal with that a new system is in place.
All outstanding referrals will be first triaged by a Consultant, meaning the most urgent cases can be prioritised.
There are then 4 options that will follow, depending on what is decided by the Consultant:
You’ll be invited to a remote or virtual consultation.
You can arrange a face-to-face consultation.
A letter will be sent to one of our GPs with advice, guidance and suggested treatment.
You’ll be referred for diagnostic tests.
I hope this information is helpful to you if you’re waiting to be referred. I will of course keep you up to date with any further changes.