Private Referrals and Follow-up Policy
This policy is necessary due to previous instances where problems have arisen and is to clarify consultant/GP responsibilities and roles and ensure patient expectations are appropriate and that they correctly informed.
Information for Patients
- If you see a private consultant they may suggest further simple tests such as bloods, urine or stool tests etc., or more complex tests such as X-rays, scans, scopes depending on the problem. These should also be done within the private sector and should be factored into total costs. If you wish to transfer to the NHS for any tests, this should be arranged by the consultant.
- It is your responsibility to follow up on the results of any investigations performed with the referring doctor.
- If the consultant suggests a prescription, we are often happy to do an NHS prescription, but only if it is a licensed drug used appropriately and is in the Northern Ireland Formulary, but GPs retain the right to decline prescribing if they have significant concerns and the Consultant is still able to prescribe by themselves privately.
- Depending on the treatment/prescription a Consultant recommends, patients should understand and be aware they may have to pay for any ongoing treatment or medications which are recommended (which the GP is not able or willing to prescribe for the reasons listed above).
- Sufficient post-operative medication, e.g. pain relief or anticoagulation, should be provided at discharge following procedures carried out by the private sector providers, without needing a GP prescription.
Private Referral and Follow-up Policy
Information for Consultants
- If you wish to perform investigations including bloods etc., these should be done within the PRIVATE system, and it is not acceptable practice to expect the NHS/GP to perform these and thus supplement private practice.
- If a prescription is recommended for a patient then we are happy to prescribe if this falls within normal NHS GP practice and we would ask you work within the same guidelines as GPs using the NI Formulary, found at niformulary.hscni.net/formulary/chapter-summaries. Anything that lies outside the formulary, including unlicensed, red and amber list (shared care) medications should not be presumed to be suitable for NHS GP prescribing. Your prescription advice may be returned with an explanation why it is not suitable.
- If you decide the patient needs onward referral via the NHS either yourself (On the NHS) or another consultant, this can and should be done by the Consultant themselves and please do not expect the GP to do this. The guidance explaining this is found at: www.health-ni.gov.uk/sites/default/files/publications/dhssps/management-private-practice-handbook.pdf (EXTERNAL PDF LINK)