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

This page covers:

  • Hospital test appointments
  • Hospital results
  • General hospital queries
  • Hospital prescriptions
  • Sick/fit notes after hospital care
  • Chasing hospital correspondence
  • Private providers


Dear Patient


Your GP surgery is not responsible for hospital care. This information page provides some general information about various issues around hospital care, which we are frequently presented with, and informs you how to address your concerns or queries directly with the hospital concerned.


NHS England, the British Medical Association and the National Association for Patient Participation have come together to produce an information leaflet for patients, which provides details on what you can expect to happen before, during or after your hospital visit. This leaflet covers some of the topics on this page and you might find it a useful read.

What to expect leaflet

Please be aware that all NHS organisations are as busy as ever, dealing urgent cases as well as prioritising clinical care. We urge all patients awaiting a hospital appointment or a result to be patient and wait to be contacted by the hospital directly. However, if you have a query about any hospital related matter, please contact the hospital directly.

For information regarding expediting your hospital appointment, please see our other information page:

Expediting your appointment


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We do not have any special hotline numbers to the hospital and we are not routinely copied in to results of tests carried out by other services, therefore our staff cannot provide you with this information; in fact, it is the duty of the clinician who ordered the test to follow-up the result and take any necessary actions, which in the case of hospital tests will be the consultant and their teams, not your GP.

Indeed, due to hospital contract changes from April 2017, hospitals are now obliged to provide you with results of your tests and also 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.

Please contact the secretary of the consultant whom you are under so that you can put your query directly to the responsible doctor.


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URGENT/SPECIALIST MEDICATIONS If the hospital needs you to start specialist or urgent/same-day medications, then as part of the hospital contract, it is actually their responsibility to provide a prescription for you, whether this is after a face-to-face appointment or a remote assessment. If this is the case, please contact the secretary of the hospital doctor who has made this recommendation.

In situations where prescriptions cannot be sent electronically or where you have already left the hospital, hospitals have access to paper prescription pads and the postal service to be able to supply you with the medication that they want you to start. Do not accept claims that you would need to make a special journey to the hospital to collect a prescription.

HOSPITAL PHARMACY PRESCRIPTIONS If you are issued with a hospital prescription at your appointment, please take it to the hospital pharmacy to get it dispensed. Many patients present to us because they do not wish to wait at the hospital pharmacy. Please note, we are under no obligation to convert any hospital issued prescription to a GP issued one. If we do so, it will be at our discretion and the timescale will be in line with the non-urgent medication process as described below. For medications that must be urgently started, these must be supplied by the hospital as previously indicated.

NON-URGENT MEDICATIONS Where the hospital wishes us to commence you on non-urgent medication, they will send us an outpatient prescription. These will be processed routinely as per our normal prescription process, which may take anything from 2-5 working days (as indicated on the outpatient prescription itself). These are not urgent and in any case, urgent medications must be supplied by the hospital as described above. Therefore, please do not be offended if the processing of your non-urgent prescription does not meet with your expected timescale.

MEDICATIONS AFTER PRIVATE CONSULTATIONS Please note we are under no obligation to issue medications following a private consultation or convert a privately issued prescription to a GP issued one. Requests will be reviewed on an individual basis and if agreed, will be processed in line with the non-urgent medication process and timescale as described above.

MEDICATIONS IN RELATION TO HOSPITAL PROCEDURES Responsibility for advising on your medications in relation to hospital procedures or operations lies with the hospital. For instance, the hospital will advise you on stopping blood thinners before an operation, or whether you need a loading dose of antibiotics before a procedure. If you have any queries regarding these matters, please contact the hospital.

Download info leaflet


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For sick/fit notes following hospital admission, outpatients or operations, please ask your hospital doctor to provide you with one before you leave hospital. Despite what the hospital might say about seeing your GP for a sick note, it is the legal and contractual duty of the hospital doctor treating you to provide a fit note should you require it.

If you have already left hospital without your sick note, please contact the secretary of the consultant whom you were under. It remains a hospital responsibility to issue the first sick note after any hospital attendance. When asking for your sick note please ensure that it is for the correct/required duration - there is no legal requirement for the first note to be only two weeks if your consultant has already advised that your absence from work is going to be a lot longer.

Hospitals have access to paper sick note pads and the postal service to get your sick note to you.

UPDATE: From November 30, 2023, as part of hospital contract changes, all hospital must have in place facilities to be able to send a fit note to any patient electronically. There is therefore no excuse for the hospital not to be able to issue a fit note for you ahould you require it.

Download info leaflet

If you still have difficulty obtaining your sick note from the hospital, please contact the PALS (Patient Advice and Liaison Service) of the hospital concerned and they can assist you (see bottom of page for link).


Please note that we have no control over how quickly (or slowly), it takes for the hospital to write to us. Unfortunately we are not in a position to have our already extremely busy admin staff ringing the hospital to chase letters and as indicated above, we have no special hotline to the hospital in order to do this.

We therefore kindly ask that patients ring the hospital secretary to chase up any letters that are not yet with us.


If the GP was going to refer you to an NHS hospital, but you wish to go private instead, we can supply a referral letter to facilitate this, without charge.

However, if you have decided yourself to see a private provider, but that provider requires a referral letter or form completing to enable this to happen, please note that such work is chargeable, in line with our current fees policy.

If you wish to avoid this fee, you can self-refer to the private provider and we can supply a summary printout of your record free of charge to help you with this, if required.

Fees for non-NHS work


Where a patient is under a private consultant, the responsibility for carrying out tests and prescribing medication lies with the private provider. The following document provides more information.

Download info leaflet

Yours sincerely

Ivy Grove Surgery


If you are not getting anywhere with your query regarding hospital care, please contact the hospital and ask to speak to the Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS). They can investigate and escalate matters for you.

Derby PALS ⧉