Healthwatch Peterborough is asking people to share with them their experiences of getting a GP referral to another NHS service.
For many, GPs are the first point of contact for many health problems and the gateway to specialist support.
But with many GP surgeries stretched and under pressure, NHS decision-makers need to understand if some people can’t get the right help.
Healthwatch Peterborough is now asking people in Cambridgeshire if they are waiting to get a GP referral.
Peterborough City Councilor Dr Shabina Qayyum, who is also a GP and leader of the Labor Group for Health, said: “I think it is very important that residents take part in the latest Healthwatch Peterborough survey asking about their experiences with referrals from GPs to other services.
“We all know very well the problems that patients have faced, not only in accessing GP services, but also due to the backlog, as a result of Covid, there are numerous problems with reference to GP appointments. patients who are delayed or canceled by the local. hospital.
“As a GP, a considerable part of my workload is due to finding appointments at the hospital and other services that have otherwise been canceled due to staff shortages or due to backlogs. where hospitals have to prioritize urgent cases and that results in routine referrals being delayed.
“So please take part in this survey so that Healthwatch Peterborough can pass this information on to the Peterborough City Council health scrutiny committee, and councilors can make their recommendations to the North West Anglia Foundation Trust and other organisations.”
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Healthwatch Peterborough is the independent leader for health and social care services in Cambridgeshire.
The health body is also interested in the experiences of residents trying to get specialist support from the NHS, such as physiotherapy, talk therapy, hospital scans and consultations.
A spokesperson for Healthwatch Peterborough said: “By sharing your story as part of this national project, we can use your feedback to help the NHS better understand your challenges and improve the way people access the care they need.
“So if you have something to say about GP referrals, don’t just talk to your friends and family, tell us too. We are supporting a national Healthwatch project to learn about people’s experience of getting a referral from their GP to another NHS service.”
Your GP can refer you for a wide range of NHS and other services, including: scans or tests to diagnose a health condition or problem, mental health support, knee, hip and eye surgery.
In addition, referrals may include support such as physical therapy for back pain or arthritis, non-urgent heart problems, and wellness services such as quitting smoking or managing diabetes.
When GPs order specialized tests or treatments on your behalf, this is known as a referral.
In most cases, you need to see your GP or talk to a doctor at a hospital to get a referral to another NHS service, although other health professionals, such as a nurse, can also refer you.
Sometimes you can also self-refer for further NHS support, such as mental health talk therapy.
Unless you can self-refer, specialists will only see people with a referral letter from their primary care doctor or a hospital doctor.
To share your referral experience, please contact Healthwatch Peterborough at [email protected]