Sometimes we might refer you to a hospital or community team. Learn how it works.

Hospital appointments

What happens when you are referred to see a specialist?

Your clinician will explain the appointment process and you are likely to receive written information about your appointment.

This leaflet describes what you can expect when you are referred to a specialist or consultant at a hospital or community health centre.

What happens when you are referred – download a helpful leaflet

If you require transport to get to your specialist appointment please contact either the hospital transport service or the East Cambridgeshire Volunteer Car Scheme.


Urgent Referrals

If you are referred urgently, it can be normal to feel worried especially if the referral is about cancer.  Our clinicians will discuss this with you before they complete the referral.

We work hard to ensure that urgent referrals are prioritised and the relevant information is sent off to the specialist teams as quickly as possible.

For cancer referrals, you should hear from either your practice or the hospital within 1 week. If you have not been contacted 1 week after being referred, please contact the medical secretaries.

For more information about what to expect from an URGENT cancer referral visit the Cancer Research website.



Tracking your referral

The NHS My Planned Care platform  is available online and provides direct access to the latest average wait time for appointments and operations for local hospitals, as well as helpful advice and support for you while you wait. Please note that these wait times are subject to change.

NHS My Planned Care is easy-to-use, and has ‘open access’ which enables carers, friends, relatives to also access information on someone else’s behalf. Alternatively, patients who have already been in correspondence with hospitals regarding their planned care can contact the relevant department or hospital PALS service.

If you have any comments or feedback about wait times, please contact the hospital PALS service directly. 

Please remember Addenbrooke’s Hospital is listed as Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

Please only call the practice about your referral if your condition has genuinely deteriorated, when you will be reviewed by one of the clinical team and appropriate action can be taken in regard to your care.

Date published: 20th June, 2023
Date last updated: 5th October, 2023