Information For GDP’s

Hospital Referrals

A referral to hospital dental services provides the GDP with access to specialised knowledge and facilities.

Hospital dental departments are highly specialised and in general cover Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery and Orthodontics, but may also include the other main dental sub-specialties: Paediatric Dentistry, Restorative Dentistry and Special Care Dentistry. The type of referrals accepted will vary between hospital Trusts and between specialties, but in general will include:

  • Consultant advice for cases of complexity or special difficulty outside the remit or area of competence of the referring GDP. This will include complex medical conditions, congenital abnormalities, trauma and oro-facial disease.
  • A fast-track service for suspected oncology cases
  • Help with treatment planning for the GDP and for specialist practitioners
  • Treatment for certain categories of patients who require complex or multidisciplinary care, or where there are medical considerations which make it desirable for the treatment to be carried out in a hospital
  • Treatment under sedation or general anaesthesia for children and special care dental patients
  • Orthodontic treatment for cases unsuited for specialist orthodontic practice. Most orthodontic referrals will be made in the first instance to a specialist in practice. Those cases which are then assessed as unsuitable (due to complexity/urgency/need for multidisciplinary care/medical complications) should be referred on to a hospital orthodontic department.
  • Patients requiring diagnostic tests not readily available in the GDS

Hospital Dental departments do not provide general dentistry but work in partnership with colleagues in the primary care sector to provide integrated care for patients requiring specialist input. The making of appropriate referrals by GDPs is an essential part of that provision.

Alison Newlyn
Clinical Lead for Dentistry
Dental & Maxillofacial Department
East Surrey Hospital
Surrey & Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust

Surrey West Sussex and Hampshire Cancer Network
Suspected Cancer TWR Referral Form.

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