NHS Care Gateway


Why have I been referred?
Your GP will discuss with you and, if appropriate, your carer, about why a referral is being recommended for you. It is usually because your GP wants a specialist’s help in deciding on the best way to treat your condition. This might involve referring you for tests or investigations that cannot be carried out at you GP practice.

What happens next?
If your GP decides that you need referring, a letter will be completed and sent to the Care Gateway team to process on your behalf. Your referral will be reviewed and if appropriate will go for further clinical assessment for the condition you are being referred for or straight to the booking stage.

Further clinical assessment – Triage
A clinical assessment is a detailed review of your referral letter carried out by a specialist clinician. This determines which type of service is most appropriate for you based on the information your GP has included in your referral letter.

The outcome of this process may be:

  • The reviewing clinician recommends a course of treatment that your GP may not have tried and they recommend this to your GP.
  • You are offered treatment by a clinician at a local community based service with more specialist knowledge.
  • You are offered treatment at a hospital by a clinician with more specialist knowledge.

The booking stage

If/when your referral reaches the booking stage, a member of the Care Gateway team will try to contact you via telephone or letter to discuss the choices of treatment and providers available to you. In the majority of cases the team will book your appointment with you.

If the Care Gateway team have not had correspondence with you, an appointment will be generated on your behalf and you will receive the appointment details by post.

Where can I find out more

Further information can be accessed via the following website: