Private Referrals

No. You can get private treatment from a consultant or specialist without being referred by your GP.

But the British Medical Association (BMA) believes it’s best practice for patients to be referred for specialist treatment by their GP because they know your medical history and can advise you if a referral is necessary.

A referral is also needed by many private practitioners and private medical insurance policies. If you have private medical insurance, ask your insurer if they need a referral.

Source: NHS

  • This varies. If you’re arranging directly, you pick a hospital/department/consultant of your choice. If they need a letter from us, you’ll need to discuss with us.
  • If you’re arranging through your insurance the procedure may differ between each insurance company.
  • This will differ between different insurance companies.
  • Some will need you to contact them first.
  • Some will want you to get a letter from your GP.

What should you do?

  • Speak with your insurance company first. It’ll be easier to arrange things by knowing what they might need first.
  • There is no charge for the referral from Castle Surgery to the hospital of your choice.


  • The cost between you and your private care can vary. Especially with insurance.
  • It is best to contact the hospital of your choice and check either on their website or through their secretary
  • This is purely your choice.
  • With finances getting tighter everywhere please don’t feel pressured.
  • You’ll need to weigh up the pros and cons of waiting through the NHS and how much this is impacting on your life.
  • If you have been referred already through the NHS, you can contact the relevant department secretaries to chase/follow up your referral.
  • As always, if anything changes with your condition, especially if it’s worsening, we recommend you get in touch directly with us.

Guidance for NHS patients

The Department of Health and Social Care has published guidance for NHS patients who pay for additional private care (PDF, 126kb).

The guidance says:

  • your NHS care will continue to be free of charge
  • you can’t be asked to pay towards your NHS care, except where legislation allows charges, such as prescription charges
  • the NHS can’t pay for or subsidise your private hospital treatment
  • there must be as clear a separation as possible between your private treatment and your NHS treatment
  • your position on a NHS waiting list shouldn’t be affected if you choose to have a private consultation

Source: NHS

  • We’ll need to speak with you about this.
  • Get in touch with us on 01639 622050 or use the below form which is being trialled:

Private Referral Request Form (Trial)