When you need a referral to a hospital it will be done in discussion between you and your doctor and you can choose the hospital. Private referrals must also be discussed with your GP first: it is important we send your medical details to any other doctor. If you have medical insurance, the insurer may not cover your bills without a prior GP referral.
Referrals have changed in Brent. Rather than us booking them electronically ourselves with you during the consultation, Brent CCG has introduced a new process whereby a commercial organisation Bexley Health Limited carries this out instead. The process is known as BROS - Brent Referral Optimisation Service. The doctor will send the referral to them and they will contact you within a couple of days and book the appointment with you over the phone. The good thing is you contact this organisation, rather than the GP, if you need to change anything or things go wrong at any stage (rather too often in the current stressed NHS). Here you can download the FAQs.
The main reason cited for commissioning this service was to improve and standardise the quality of referrals across Brent and in so doing, reduce the cost, as this is rising, in line with most areas. Though services may be suggested to you, you will still have the right to choose your hospital, enshrined in the NHS Constitution.
When you've been referred to a specialist, there are a number of things you should expect and here is a useful checklist to printout and take with you.