We sometimes have enquiries from psychiatrists working within the private sector about referring a patient for VNS, for example. Such a route of referral may be possible if a designated NHS consultant psychiatrist agrees to take over formal care of the patient, not just for the referral for but for any follow-up care as well. Further, funding for assessment and any treatment (if required) should come from the NHS.
How to Transfer Care
- It may be the case that the patient is already being seen by an NHS consultant and they are receiving additional services within the private sector. In this case, we would advise that you discuss the matter with the patient's NHS consultant who would make the referral.
- If the patient is not in contact with NHS psychiatric services, then a referral should be made by the General Practitioner (GP) to local services. This ensures that the GP remains 'in the loop' in additional to the usual expectation that mental health teams receive referrals from GPs.
- Finally, if you are an NHS consultant psychiatrist but are seeing the patient privately, we would suggest that the referral is made via the NHS part of the patient's care. Any additional funding would have to come from their NHS Board/ Trust and it is likely that you would be best placed to seek this.