Secondary Care Advice

Advice and Guidance for Patients on what to expect: 2018


This provides guidance on what to expect when you are referred by your GP to see a Consultant, Specialist or other therapist. Please read this information carefully; it may save you an unnecessary trip to the surgery by talking this process through with your specialist.

Tests & Investigations

All tests and investigations required by the specialists must be ordered by them and the appointments sent to you from the clinic. If the specialist requires blood tests he/she should arrange for this to be done at the clinic at the same time as your appointment. For follow-up tests, he/she should provide you with a completed request form for you to take to your practice. You may need to make an appointment for this.

The specialist is responsible for acting upon the results of any test he/she requests and for informing you of the results. If you haven’t heard from the specialist about a test result, please ring his or her secretary at the hospital. Unfortunately, your surgery may not know the result and will not know what the specialist intended to do with the information.


If the specialist prescribes a new medication or changes one that you are on, they should include details of this in the letter they write to your GP. They may also give you a hand-written note to take to your GP practice so that they can issue you with a prescription.

If you are uncertain what changes the specialist is making, please ask them to explain it to you at the appointment. It saves you having to see your GP to discuss something he or she may only know of from a short letter of explanation.

Sick or Fit Note (Med3)

If you need to be certified as unfit for work as a result of your condition, or the treatment provided by your specialist (or therapist) he or she should issue a sick note when you are discharged from hospital or seen in the clinic. Please ask your specialist for a sick note if you need one.

Follow Up Appointments

If you need to be seen again the hospital will provide you with another appointment. Please contact the specialists’ secretary if it does not arrive in a timely way.


  • Looking after all your tests, including appointments and managing the results
  • Providing prescriptions when needed
  • Issuing a sick note if required
  • Providing you with a follow up appointment if necessary.

Local Hospitals – Appointment telephone numbers

To cancel or change an outpatient appointment

  • The Royal London:    020 7767 3200
  • Mile End Hospital:    020 7767 3200
  • St Bartholomew’s:     020 7767 3200
  • Barts Heart Centre:  020 3765 8000
  • Whips Cross:              020 8535 6768
  • Newham:                    020 7476 4000
  • Homerton:                 020 8510 5544
  • UCLH:                        020 3456 7014