If your doctor referral is taking too long, it’s likely you’re at your wit’s end.
The anticipation, longing, and hoping combined with the ever-increasing nerves, worry, and even pain may seek you wishing for another option.
Fortunately, there is: private GP appointments.
If you’re confused about why your doctor’s referral is taking too long and how a private GP appointment could help, you’re not alone.
This article is here to answer any questions you may have and show you how seeing a private GP can help you feel like your best self sooner rather than later.
Just how long is the wait for a referral?
According to the NHS, the maximum referral length is 18 weeks - so just over 4 months.
However, we all know that this often is not the case, with some people reporting that they have been on waiting lists for over a year!
The worst bit? The powers that be know this.
New research from The House of Commons shows that the 18-week target has not been met since 2016! Plus, hospital treatment waiting lists have risen to nearly 7.5 million!
It’s no surprise people are frustrated, distressed, and disappointed at the state of our healthcare system.
Your health deserves to be the top priority. Here at Pall Mall, we can make sure it is.
Why are doctor referrals taking too long in the UK?
There are a myriad of reasons as to why the length of doctor’s referrals has sky-rocketed in the UK.
The Covid-19 pandemic
It’s no secret that the Covid-19 pandemic severely impacted the NHS. Life as we knew it shifted, and priorities in the healthcare system, obviously, had to change.
Doctor referrals were delayed and sometimes even halted unless they were absolutely critical due to the dangers involved.
It is because of this that the backlog is still lingering.
In February 2022, the NHS released its Delivery Plan for Tackling the Covid-19 Backlog, which set out a series of aims to combat the issue - such as eliminating wait times of more than a year by March 2025.
Unfortunately, the current length of referral times doesn’t make it look like these ambitions will be met.
Waiting lists are growing
As barely any people on their respected waiting lists were seen during the pandemic, the existing backlog increased.
The number of people that doctors are now referring to waiting lists - due to only just experiencing symptoms or having put off a GP visit during the pandemic - has led to more people joining the lists than coming off them.
This is only adding to the length of time that people are having to wait with no real solution.
Shortage of staff
We’ve all heard about how understaffed the NHS is, but did you know that it currently has more than 150,000 less full-time staff than it requires?
With fewer staff available to take on the consultations, tests, and procedures that people on waiting lists need, it’s no surprise that people are waiting longer as each person only has a certain number of hours in a day.
The lack of staff will only delay people’s treatment and extend the length of the waiting list.
Can a referral taking too long make it ‘run out’?
In short, yes.
Usually, referrals from GPs last 12 months. However, in some cases, they only last three months!
With the current state of waiting times, you may not even get a letter within this time period. The waiting for updates can be an extremely anxious, fretful, and exhaustive time - only making your symptoms worse!
You deserve to feel like your best self every single day. Private healthcare can do just that. Book your appointment to see one of our GPs today.
What you can do to speed up your referral waiting time
We understand that, after learning about the current state of our healthcare system, you may be feeling quite despondent.
However, it’s not all bad news!
There are some ways you can speed up your referral waiting time to make sure you and your health are back to 100% as soon as possible.
Check the referral times for different hospitals
In most cases, you can choose where you will receive your treatment. You can use the NHS My Planned Care to check the waiting times for each individual hospital!
If you have numerous hospitals near to where you live, you can pick the one that has the shortest wait list time and (hopefully) get your treatment sooner.
Ask your GP to send another letter
We understand that, whilst you are waiting for your referral, your symptoms can worsen.
This could potentially lead to a myriad of problems, such as having to take extended time off work while you recover.
If your symptoms start to exacerbate, please inform your GP and ask them to pass this information along to your specialist who should move you up the waiting list.
You may think of this as a last resort, but there are many benefits to seeing a private GP compared to a standard GP.
Here at Pall Mall, we offer high-quality care that puts you and your health as our top priority.
Yes, you will have to pay for your appointments, but if it means you will feel better sooner, the cost may just be worth it.
How going private can speed up your doctor referral
When it comes to private GPs vs NHS appointments, you’ll find many benefits to going private, such as:
- There are no waiting times
- Choosing the same consultant for every appointment
- You can pick the length of your appointment
All of these benefits allow you to truly speak to your consultant about your symptoms without rushing. Our GPs put you and your health first, and ensure you get the right treatment for your problems.
If the doctor believes you need to see a specialist for your concerns, we will arrange this for you in mere minutes, so you can ensure your referral doesn’t take too long!
We work with some of the best specialists in the field so you can rest assured that you will get the care you deserve.
Plus, we even offer private GP appointments for the same day! So you can feel like your best self sooner rather than later.
Say goodbye to your long doctor’s referral. Book your appointment with Pall Mall today!
If your doctor referral is taking too long, it’s time to visit a private GP.
We understand that our appointments come at a cost, but you can ensure that we will put you and your health first. This way, you can get back to your happy, healthy self as as soon as possible.
At Pall Mall, our private GP appointments start from just £50!
We have a wide range of appointments available:
- Video call
- In-person at one of our clinics
With appointments slots available Monday-Saturday, we also offer early morning and late night appointments so you can find the right time for you and your lifestyle.
Our expert team of GPs are here to put your mind at ease and get you feeling like your best self.
Speed up your referral time by getting in touch with our friendly team today:
- Phone us on 03300 27 26 51
- Visit one of our clinics
- Fill out our contact form