Definition of referral in English:



  • 1An act of referring someone or something for consultation, review, or further action.

    • ‘Initial referral to a review pharmacist included a copy of the patient's discharge letter.’
    • ‘As the previous speaker has said, National supports this legislation and its referral to the Regulations Review Committee.’
    • ‘So New Zealand First will support this bill's referral to the select committee.’
    • ‘Peters and Wade reviewed 2038 referrals to the Auckland Court Liaison Service over a two year period.’
    • ‘It was made very clear that a similar action after qualification would be likely to result in referral to the General Medical Council.’
    • ‘Anyway, here are some of the latest search engine referrals.’
    • ‘As I have said, National supports this bill's referral to a select committee.’
    • ‘But it falls short of imposing any sanctions on him, which could have included referral to the General Medical Council.’
    passing on, transfer, redirection
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1mass noun The directing of a patient to a medical specialist by a GP.
      • ‘More than half of cancer patients requiring an urgent referral are having to wait longer than two months.’
      • ‘If the findings at that point are positive, an orthopedic referral is needed.’
      • ‘Specialty referral is warranted for suspected complications and inpatient detoxification programs should be considered.’
      • ‘Self referral to a clinic is an easier option.’
      • ‘This review explains how general practitioners can approach the first level of diagnosis and warn patients about what lies ahead after referral to a specialist.’
      • ‘We selected patients by examining all referral letters to the hospital's gastroenterology outpatient clinics and open access endoscopy service.’
      • ‘The assessment of ‘red flags’ will identify the small number of patients who need referral for an urgent surgical opinion.’
      • ‘On a normal school day, about 35 children attend the pupil referral unit.’
      • ‘These patients may require specialist gastroenterological referral.’
      • ‘Visual impairment or globe injury warrants immediate referral.’
      • ‘There was no evidence that subsequent hospital management was influenced as a result of better investigation by doctors before referral.’
      • ‘Being aware of this very substantial fall in hysterectomies is important and may be helpful in counselling patients before referral.’
      • ‘No effect of referral from medical or social service providers was detected.’
      • ‘Your most important task is to detect potentially serious ocular presentations for immediate referral of the patient to an ophthalmologist and treatment.’
      • ‘Patients with critical limb ischaemia require urgent referral to a vascular surgeon.’
      • ‘The report also said many GPs had difficulty identifying which patients needed urgent referral to hospital cancer services.’
      • ‘Referral to a urologist is indicated for patients with a stone greater than 5 mm in size.’
      • ‘Ocular involvement should prompt immediate referral to an ophthalmologist.’
      • ‘Talk to your doctor about getting a referral to a genetic specialist.’
      • ‘Consecutive patients whose referral letters gave no reason for exclusion were considered provisionally eligible.’
      transfer, passing on, handover, direction, remission
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    2. 1.2 A person whose case has been referred to a specialist doctor or a professional body.
      • ‘Lots of our referrals come from health visitors, professionals, social services and children's centres.’
      • ‘The service received 124 referrals in the first year, and 194 referrals in the second year.’
      • ‘An increase in referrals will show just what an effective risk sink British general practice has been for many years.’
      • ‘Now I get referrals from medical doctors who have seen their patients lose weight or quit smoking.’
      • ‘Botha says the centre gets lots of referrals from doctors and physiotherapists.’
      • ‘We are seeing around 25,000 outpatients a year and referrals continue to rise.’
      • ‘The authority is now receiving about 80 referrals a quarter, including doctors working in primary care.’