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14th February 2024

Do I need a GP referral to go private?


If you’re considering pursuing a private service for your treatment, you might be wondering whether you first need a referral from your GP in order to do so. In this article, we’ll be answering that question and exploring the key information you need to know if you’re going private for the first time.


Will you need a GP referral for private care?

In short no, there is no requirement that stipulates a need to be referred by your normal GP if you want a consultation or treatment with a private consultant. However, the British Medical Association (BMA) advises those who need specialist treatment are referred by their GP. This is because they will have a detailed knowledge and understanding of their medical history and can advise on the referral.

In addition, you might need a GP referral if it is requested by the private practitioner you want to see. Or if you’re using a private medical insurance policy, you may want to check with your insurer if you need a referral from your GP before seeking a private appointment.

Getting a GP referral

If your doctor thinks you need to see a specialist for treatment and you express that you want to go private, they can write a referral letter for you to a private consultant or specialist explaining your condition and medical history. It's important to note that your primary healthcare provider will only suggest a specialist if they believe a specialist's assessment or treatment is necessary. If they don't see it as vital in your case, they are not compelled to make a referral, whether privately or through the NHS.

Private GP services at VIDA

At VIDA Clinics we offer easy access to private GP consultations that avoid long delays for appointments and streamlines the process of getting referred for specialist treatment following your GP appointment. Starting at as little as £50 our private consultations provide longer time with a GP who will review your medical history, discuss your current health concerns, and carry out any physical examinations that might be required.

Our appointments are designed to ensure guests feel completely reassured that their concerns have been addressed through a dedicated service from our experienced GPs, whether ongoing care is needed or if the issue can be resolved straight away. We strive to always provide the best quality of care from start to finish.


To answer the overall question of this guide, you don’t necessarily need a GP referral to go private, but if you need specialist treatment it is advisable that you have one. If you want to go completely private, you can get started with private GP consultations at VIDA Clinics. Book now online for a dedicated, tailored private GP service that goes above and beyond to meet your healthcare needs.

Our Locations
VIDA Woodside

1 Pacific Road



CH41 1LJ

Woodsidevida 57
VIDA South Road

18 South Road



L22 5PQ

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VIDA Birchwood
Venturi Cardiology

720 Birchwood Boulevard



VIDA Chester
Total Fitness

53 Liverpool Rd



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