The Referral Process
A decision to refer is rarely taken as routine, and usually involves significant professional communication. The selection of a referral service is always a careful judgement. A good referral contributes to the good outcome of the patient. A poor referral can have the opposite result.
Access, cost, the specific skills of certain doctors or teams, location, style and personality are usually all taken into account and a range of referral destinations are usually considered.
We are also always interested in feedback from services you know about or have been told about.
Many medical referrals are very specific, relating to particular questions or intellectual problems that need solving by other practitioners with unique skill sets. Ongoing referral for chronic problems may require updates of significant information, findings and test results, as care of these problems involves teamwork.
If your doctor recommends that you see a specialist, it's usually for a good reason such as further investigation for a significant illness. Non-attendance places both you and the medico-legal obligations of the referring doctor at risk. If you can’t get to the referral it’s advised that you notify us so some other arrangement can be made.
Patients who have cost concerns should discuss this with us, as with modest waiting times, problems can sometimes be dealt with in the public sector.
Some public hospital services are in fact superior to private services, and this includes facilities in the Hunter such as the Mater Oncology Unit, and John Hunter Paediatric Hospital, where complex tertiary level care in centres of excellence is the preferred option for everyone in the region.
Our practice is also close enough to Sydney for specific cases to be referred to hospitals and doctors at:
- Sydney Adventist Hospital Wahroonga
- Royal North Shore Hospital
- Royal North Shore Private Hospital
- Westmead Hospital
Some subspecialty referrals may even go as far as:
Examples of these referrals include paediatric gastroenterology and immunology, specific neurosurgery and Moh’s surgery (complex plastic surgery) cases, child psychiatry and so on.