What the Hospital Must Do

Your hospital consultant must chase up, follow up on and advise you of the results of any tests they organise.

They must make any further necessary referrals for the problem your GP has referred you for help with:

In line with the hospitals NHS Contract along with guidance from the BMA, GMC and BHRUT’s  medical director, hospitals consultants must arrange for any of the following which they or their team arranged or required; to be arranged, chased and followed up by their own team:

  • Tests/investigations.
  • Appointment-bookings. 
  • Onward referrals, including tertiary referrals, as per the hospital NHS contract & the BHR consultant to consultant referral policy. Most tertiary (specialist hospital) centre referrals need to come from secondary(hospital) care. 

Sick Certificates must be issued by your hospital team for your hospital care and illnesses under their care

Under Section 11 of the new hospital standard contract, which came into force on 1 April 2017, to which all NHS organisations have signed up. The contract sets new requirements to reduce inappropriate bureaucratic workload shift onto GP practices.

11.11 Where a Service User either: 11.11.1  is admitted to hospital under the care of a member of the Provider’s medical Staff; or 11.11.2  is discharged from such care; or 11.11.3  attends an outpatient clinic under the care of a member of the Provider’s medical Staff, the Provider must, where appropriate under and in accordance with Fit Note Guidance, issue free of charge to the Service User or their Carer or Legal Guardian any necessary medical certificate to prove the Service User’s fitness or otherwise to work, covering the period until the date by which it is anticipated that the Service User will have recovered or by which it will be appropriate for a further clinical review to be carried out.

Failure to supply patients with appropriate certification following discharge from inpatient or day case care, or from an outpatient appointment waste millions of GP appointments annually and incurs unnecessary additional bureaucracy on hard pressed GP surgeries

Click here for the DOH’s guidance on issuing medical certificates for hospital doctors

Patient Queries regarding hospital care must be answered by your hospital team:

This responsibility is part of new contractual requirements in the standard hospital contract which came into force on 1 April 2017, to  reduce inappropriate bureaucratic workload shift onto GP practices, and provide  patients with timely responses to any concerns or questions that may have relating to their care under a hospital service.

Contract reference SC12.2 states that the Provider must: 12.2.1 provide Service Users (in relation to their own care) and Referrers (in relation to the care of an individual Service User) with clear information in respect of each Service about who to contact if they have questions about their care and how to do so; 12.2.2 ensure that there are efficient arrangements in place in respect of each Service for responding promptly and effectively to such questions and that these are publicised to Service Users and Referrers using all appropriate means, including appointment and admission letters and on the Provider’s website; and 12.2.3 wherever possible, deal with such questions from Service Users itself, and not by advising the Service User to speak to their Referrer.

In line with the national contract requirement, the hospital provider should publicise to patients contact arrangements for any queries they have. Inappropriately referring the patient back to contact the GP is frustrating to patients, causes delay in them receiving a response, and wastes GP and staff time, at a time whent general practice is under unprecedented workload pressures. In fact several million GP appointments are wasted nationally due to patients seeing a GP for queries that should have been dealt with by other providers, and which could instead have been offered to other patients.