GP's Hospital referrals

I hope someone here has more knowledge of the ins and outs of these than myself.

Following on from an appointment, my wife received a letter from her GP referring her to one of six different hospitals, her choice, and we book the appointment on-line.

I’m OK doing all that, not a problem.

The first couple of choices, the earliest appointments were for June 2022!!

I looked at another hospital (a private one) and there was one appointment available for about one weeks time, but it was a bit too early in the morning to be convenient.

I phoned them at 9:05 this morning and got put through to an answer-phone and left my number. An hour later I phoned again and made an appointment at a sensible time on 1st March 2021.

Whilst I was out this afternoon, the recipient of the answer-phone message (not the person who made the appointment) called and said that they had to cancel the appointment, couldn’t offer a different one and my wife would have to seek treatment elsewhere.

Can they do that, and if so, why is that hospital on the list of possibilities?


I suspect the appointment was reallocated to a private, paying patient.


That wouldn’t surprise me at all, but does me turning down that one appointment because the time wasn’t suitable absolve them of any further responsibility? :-???

Definitely shouldn’t.


I’ve phoned and spoken to them this morning, Their reason for cancelling was that they don’t have the facilities for “High dependency care”. I’m sure that that’s just a cop-out as her problem could be taken care of with day surgery under a local anaesthetic, probably no need even for a hoist.

She now has an appointment elsewhere for 1st April this year, but still with a projected 40+ weeks before anything else happens, but that was the best of a bad bunch.

I’ve had a number of procedures done at a private hospital. They are very good at doing planned surgery like knee replacements, but they are simply not geared up for any patients with extra special needs. When I was in the Spire in Southampton, they would ship people over the road to the General if anything untoward happened. Since the specialists at the Spire were the top consultants from the General anyhow, they seemed to be able to arrange this. My records at the General were even shared with the Spire without anyone asking me!

The Spire is where she now has an appointment, I’m fully expecting a phone call to cancel some time in the next couple of days.

Then it will back to the GP to sort out, two of the six hospitals on the list had no appointments, two were not until June 2022, one cancelled, and the Spire is the only one left from the list

At least if you see the consultant there, and he has links with the General, you will have shortened the waiting time at the General significantly. If I had my kidney out at the Spire, if I’d waited to see the consultant, waited to have the scan, waited for the op, it would probably have been too late. It took a huge chunk out of our modest retirement savings though.