Recent guidance from the Department of Health for England means that if the patient is transferred, the time already waited at the original hospital has to be taken into account at the new hospital. This should ensure that Service families are on a level footing with civilians who are not moving - (it will not resolve the general waiting list problem which is being dealt with under the NHS Plan).
Patients who are waiting for treatment in hospital (inpatient) or a consultant's appointment (outpatient) and are expecting/due to move to another area have two options:
- Remain on the waiting list of the original hospital for inpatient/outpatient.
- Ask the hospital at which they are waiting to arrange to transfer their care to a hospital in the area to which they are moving.
You may wish to discuss these options with your GP before coming to a decision. GPs should be aware of waiting times at the hospitals they may refer patients to. In addition to help make an informed choice patients can telephone the College of Health's Waiting List Helpline or NHS Direct to obtain information on waiting times both locally and in their prospective location.
If you choose to remain on the waiting list of the original hospital you should:
- Inform your GP, or equivalent, that you are about to move but have chosen to still have your inpatient/outpatient treatment at the original hospital.
- Inform the hospital you are about to move but have chosen to remain on the waiting list of the original hospital. Give new contact details so that the original hospital can arrange a suitable date for treatment.
- Register with a new GP, or equivalent, upon arrival in the new location and inform the GP, or equivalent, that you are awaiting inpatient/outpatient treatment at the original hospital.
- Tell the original hospital the name and address of the new GP, or equivalent, so that post-operative continuity of care is assured.
If you have asked for your care to be transferred you should:
- Inform your GP, or equivalent, that you are about to move and have asked that your inpatient treatment be transferred to a hospital in the area to which you are moving.
- Keep in touch with the original hospital to get details of the hospital, (including name of consultant) to which you have been transferred.
- Register with a new GP, or equivalent, upon arrival in the new location and inform the GP that you are awaiting inpatient treatment at the new hospital.
- Tell the new hospital the name and address of the new GP, or equivalent. Confirm with the new hospital that you are on a waiting list for treatment, that the length of the original wait will be taken into account and that treatment will be within the current maximum waiting time standard.
It is important to follow these steps so that medical professionals are aware of your situation and can assist you in this transition. You should always ensure that you notify your GP and the hospital about a change of address so that they can contact you swiftly.
These changes currently only apply to England, discussions are taking place with the Devolved Administrations to see what arrangements can be made.
However when moving always discuss move of hospital/consultant with your GP and consultant as appropriate.
0845 46 47 (NHS Direct)