Routine referrals
Please be aware that waiting lists within the NHS as a whole, including hospitals, GP Practices and other NHS departments are now much longer due to the Covid Pandemic. Referrals can take up to 8 weeks to reach the relevant hospital department. When the referral is received by the hospital it is subject to their own grading and triage processes. The GP has no influence over this process or how the hospital grade the referral. For example we could refer a patient as urgent but the hospital triage process may downgrade them to routine, the practice has no control over this.

You should wait at least 8 weeks before attempting to chase your referral. If after 8 weeks you have not received any communication from the hospital at all, then you should ring the Newcastle Hospitals Appointments Team on 0191 2824444, they will be able to advise you further.

For information on likely waiting times for each speciality visit :

Please do not contact the practice to chase your referral as we cannot help you, we have no influence over waiting times and we only have the same contact numbers to call as patients do. Calls of this nature hold up an already extremely busy phone line.

It is not appropriate to make an appointment with a gp just to ask them to chase your referral, again they have no influence over referral waiting times. You should only make an appointment if your symptoms have worsened or changed and you need further assistance to manage them.

Referrals made on the 2 week wait pathway
Referrals made on this pathway take priority over all other referrals and are forwarded within 24 hours. The GP will advise you if you have been sent on this referral pathway.

If you have been referred on this pathway, you should receive communication from the hospital within 2 weeks of your appointment with the GP.

If you have not heard anything from the hospital after 2 weeks you should contact the practice.

Please remember this only applies to referrals made on the 2 week pathway.

Date published: 8th April, 2024
Date last updated: 14th May, 2024