How to write effective referral letters – three useful examples

Paul Hayes

25/10/2017 12:00:00 AM

Referral letters are a vital, if time-consuming, aspect of a GP’s life. A well-written referral can make all the difference when a patient visits a specialist, and show a level of care and expertise on the part of the referring clinician.

The right referral letter can make all the difference
The right referral letter can make all the difference

The RACGP understands the importance of this practise and has developed a number of resources to help GPs provide the best possible referrals for their patients.
Referring to other medical specialists: A guide for ensuring good referral outcomes for your patients was developed specifically to support referrals to specialists, and includes a number of illustrative examples that reflect daily general practice.

  1. One-off/single consultation or short-term assessment
    These types of referrals are often for investigation and management of a presenting symptom or problem.

Dear Dr [insert doctor name],

Mr Black requests a referral for a skin cancer check. He has no previous history of skin cancer and uses sun protection. I am able to perform his future annual skin cancer checks.
  1. To another medical specialist for routine (annual) review of a chronic problem
Dear Dr [insert doctor name],

Thank you for seeing Mr Habib for an annual cardiac review. He has a previous history of non-ST-elevation myocardial infarction in 2009 and coronary stents were inserted at that time. I will continue to review him three-monthly to monitor his risk factors and manage his medications.
  1. To another medical specialist where shared care is anticipated in the longer-term
Dear Dr [insert doctor name],

Thank you for seeing Ms Rossetti for an opinion and suggested management in regard to her resistant hypertension. Her blood pressure has consistently stayed in the range of 180–190/95–100. I have performed a range of investigations, including echocardiogram, renal artery doppler and renal function tests, which were all normal. Copies are attached. She developed a cough with angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors, but has tolerated candesartan. Her usual medications are listed below.
A number of Good Practice articles provide further guidance on writing referral letters:

GP patient-centred-care RACGP referrals

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Abdelbagi merghani elhassan mussa   3/08/2019 2:25:48 AM

Dear colleag thanks to read mu mesage, l have pt 90 years old whith high Bp180/100
Stayed on it for more than 3month, and develop dry cough whith ARE but stable whith candestan, lnvistigation which do (echocardiography, ecg, cbc, rft, cardiac enzyme) all its normal.. What can i do for further manag.