How to…write a referral letter

Keep it simple

The amount of information required depends on the problem. A simple problem such as a skin lesion needs less information.

Personal information

Introduce the patient to the consultant, giving their age and occupation if relevant and any other useful personal information.

The problem

Give a detailed account of the current problem including its site, its duration, severity and constancy and whether there are any associated symptoms. In the case of pain, any radiation to other areas should also be mentioned. In the case of a psychiatric referral, inclusion of a short mental state assessment may be helpful.

Examination

Detail examination of the relevant area of the body and note any more extensive examination.

Investigations

Outline the results of any investigations undertaken.

Medical records

Include relevant past medical history and any regular medication. In patients with complicated medical problems, it may be appropriate to include a summary of the patient’s full medical record.

Other concerns

Outline any particular concerns the patient has, as well as any information you have already given them about the diagnosis. The letter should close with thanks for the consultant’s opinion.

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Register

Already registered?

Sign in

Follow Us:

Just published

First COVID-19 jabs to target care home residents and staff under new JCVI advice

First COVID-19 jabs to target care home residents and staff under new JCVI advice

Older adults living in care homes and staff working there will be first to receive...

GPs unable to veto virtual fitness to practise hearings during pandemic

GPs unable to veto virtual fitness to practise hearings during pandemic

GPs facing fitness to practise investigations during the COVID-19 pandemic will be...

Government rejects major NHSPS overhaul - but changes 'could ease GP service charge disputes'

Government rejects major NHSPS overhaul - but changes 'could ease GP service charge disputes'

A government review has rejected calls for a major overhaul of an NHS Property Services...

RCGP urges GPs to collaborate with pharmacies on flu jabs this year

RCGP urges GPs to collaborate with pharmacies on flu jabs this year

The RCGP and the Royal Pharmaceutical Society have called on GP practices and community...

GP appointments rising fast as COVID-19 cases 'near 10,000 a day'

GP appointments rising fast as COVID-19 cases 'near 10,000 a day'

GP appointments have risen rapidly in recent weeks as schools returned, according...

COVID-19 impact on medical schools risks 'serious damage' to future NHS workforce

COVID-19 impact on medical schools risks 'serious damage' to future NHS workforce

Medical training and the future NHS workforce could be seriously damaged by the financial...