What is the General Referral and Assessment Service?

The aim of the service is to ensure that patients who have been referred for specialist advice or care get the most appropriate treatment.  This could be from the patient’s GP, a professional with specialist training in the patient’s condition or by attending hospital as an outpatient.

What will happen to your referral?

If your GP considers you need further specialist advice or care, your referral will be sent to GRACe.  The GRACe doctor will review your referral and confirm the most appropraite way for you to recieve the advice and care you need.

Most patients will need to book an appointment, and contact will be made with you either by telephone to discuss your preference in terms of where and when you can be seen, or by letter giving you the details of the booking centre that will be managing your appointment needs.  When an appointment is being arranged, you will need to confirm your identity so please have the following information to hand:

  • NHS Number (if you do not have this, please contact your doctor’s surgery who can re-issue it to you)
  • Unique Booking Reference number (UBRN) if known
  • Date of Birth
  • GP Practice

The contact will take place within one week of your referral letter being received by GRACe.  However, please note, there may be a short delay between seeing your doctor and the letter arriving at GRACe.

What options for treatment are there?

Professionals with special interests:  A number of GPs and other professionals have additional training to look after particular conditions, including skin problems, joint and muscle problems, heart disease and diabetes.  They work together with local specialist consultants.  If your referral review suggests that this is the best treatment for you, GRACe staff will contact you to organise an appointment and you will receive a letter confirming this.

Outpatient appointment:  If your referral review suggests you should have an outpatient appointment at a hospital, contact will be made with you to arrange this.  They will take into account the choices that your GP has already discussed with you and will help find an appointment date and time suitable for you.  You will receive a letter confriming details of your apppointment.

Your GP Practice:  Occasionally, GRACe review may suggest that your condition could be best managed by you GP practice and you will be referred back to your doctor.  The GRACe doctor will contact your GP to discuss the reasons for this decision and to provide additional support and advice as necessary.

What to do if you have a query regarding your referral

If you have a query about your referral, please contact the GRACe patient helpline on 0845 071 2024.  Please have the following information to hand:

  • Name of patient
  • NHS number (if you do not have this, please contact your doctor’s surgery who can re-issue it to you)
  • Unique Booking Reference Number (UBRN) if known
  • Password
  • Telephone numbers: Home, Mobile and Work