You may have received a text from us referring you to this page

This page covers

  • Chasing hospital appointments or operation dates
  • Letters to expedite hospital appointments
  • Taking up your open appointment offer
  • General queries about a hospital appointment


Dear Patient


Please note this page relates specifically to hospital appointments. For information regarding general hospital care, please see our other information page:

Hospital care

Please be aware that hospitals are as busy as ever, dealing with urgent cases as well as prioritising cancer care. We urge all patients awaiting hospital appointments to be patient and wait to be contacted.

If your appointment is delayed and you desperately need an update, please ring the secretary of the hospital consultant that you are under directly for this information.

We do not have any special hotline numbers to the hospital and we are not notified in advance of any hospital appointments or operation dates you might have, therefore if you need this information, we urge you to get in touch with the hospital.

Indeed, due to hospital contract changes from April 2017, hospitals are now obliged to respond to any queries you might have about your care, in very much the same way the we as GPs respond to patients with queries about the care provided by ourselves. Accordingly, hospital matters should not fall to your GP to resolve.


write letter image

We are aware that patients are often told by the hospital to 'get a letter from the GP' so that their appointment can be expedited. This is in fact unnecessary and creates an additional administrative burden on already stretched GP services.

Please be aware that simply waiting a longer time than you would wish does not make your request urgent. Unfortunately, in the current situation, everyone is waiting longer*. We cannot write letters to expedite your appointment for this reason.

hospital doctor image

If your condition is actively deteriorating, we advise you to speak to your specialist so that they can assess if you need to be seen sooner. We do find that an initial response might well be 'get a letter from your GP', however we are finding that we are merely reporting exactly what you have told us and it seems more sensible for patient and consultant to have a direct conversation. Should you continue to have difficulty in accessing your consultant, we advise that you contact the PALS department of the hospital for advice and assistance.

If you have already rung the hospital and described your difficulties and they remain insistent that your GP supply a letter, please download and complete the following letter and pass it through to us and we will forward it on to the hospital.

We must stress, however, that getting a quicker appointment is not always guaranteed, as we have no influence on how the hospital is managing and prioritising its own workload.

Letter to expedite

*Official figures published February 2023 show that a total of 7.2 million people were waiting to start hospital treatment in England, the highest number since records began.

OPEN OR 'PATIENT INITIATED FOLLOW-UP' (PIFU) APPOINTMENTS If you already have an open appointment from the hospital, this usually lasts for 6 months from the date of your last outpatient appointment, unless otherwise specified. If you wish to take up the offer of a further appointment with the hospital, you can do so directly with the consultant's secretary - you do not have to go via your GP. Simply ring the hospital and ask to be reinstated onto your consultant's appointment books.

Yours sincerely

Ivy Grove Surgery


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