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Frequently asked questions

If you would like to know more you can have a look at our frequently asked questions.

Click here to take you back to the main page for The Central Referral Service.

What is the Central Referral Service? The Central Referral Service (CRS) is a patient-centred service which books referrals to specialist from GP practices in Harlow and Epping. The aim of the service is to provide care closer to home in a community setting - where it is clinically appropriate to do so. 

Who runs the Central Referral service? The Central Referral Service is managed by Stellar Healthcare for patients in Epping Forest and Harlow.

Why is the service needed? The service ensures a patient is referred to the most appropriate specialist, closer to home and to avoid unnecessary appointments at the hospitals.

Who delivers the service? Our GPs with Special Interests (GPSI) deliver the service and have been duly accredited in accordance with the Department of Health’s accreditation guidelines.  They possess the skills and experience to manage patient’s conditions whilst keeping care closer to home. They are mentored and work closely with a hospital consultant, as part of their accreditation requirement and they carry out educational sessions throughout the year. 

What if I want to give feedback about the service? If you would like to provide feedback, please click here. Alternatively contact us on 0300 303 7300 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


How long will I have to wait for my appointment? It depends on the specialty but we aim to see all our patients within six weeks but a maximum of ten weeks from the date we receive the referral.

How do I change an appointment? You can change your appointment by calling us on 0300 303 7300.

What happens after my appointment? You will be sent a copy of the clinic letter detailing the appointment outcome.

What if I need a hospital appointment? We will send you a letter with a choice of hospitals and how to book your appointment.

Can I request other hospital choices? Yes, you can call us on 0300 303 7300, ask to speak with one of the coordinators who will be happy to assist you with this.

Does the service have access to my GP record? Yes we have access to your GP record, if appropriate. To find out more about our information governance policies please click here 

Is my GP record updated? Your record will be updated with the notes from your consultation.

Can I drive after my Ophthalmology appointment? During this appointment it may be necessary for the doctor to administer drops, which may result in some blurred vision. Although the effect is short term, you may wish to bring a friend/relative to accompany you to avoid having to drive back on your own. Should you require a surgical procedure, then an eye pad will be applied. It is advisable that you bring a friend/relative to accompany you as you will not be able to drive home.

Can I drive after my Orthopaedic appointment injection?  Yes you will be able to drive, unless the Doctor has specified beforehand in which case we will contact you to advise you of this.

If I am referred for an ultrasound guided injection/shoulder hydrodilatation at my local hospital and I am on Warfarin shall I stop taking it before the appointment? Yes but your GP will call you and tell you when to stop it and what to expect.

RT @nhswestessex: Stellar Healthcare is currently recruiting enthusiastic and motivated General Practitioners (GPs) to work for the Evening…

by Stellar Healthcare