Devon Referral Support Services

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  • New Devon CCG

DRSS is part of NHS Northern, Eastern and Western Devon Clinical Commissioning Group (NEW Devon CCG).

link to main new devon ccg web site

  • Contact DRSS

Helpdesk: 01626 883 888


Useful information about the DRSS referral process

Once your GP, optician, dentist or other healthcare professional decides that they need some specialist advice on your condition they will either raise a referral on the national e-Referral System or will send the referral to DRSS to process.

Your GP may decide to seek specialist opinion on your care for a number of reasons. These include:

  • You may need specialist management advice because the steps you and your GP have taken to manage your condition are no longer working
  • You may have treatment needs that exceed the experience of the person referring you and your GP might want to discuss potential options with a specialist
  • You may have complex health needs that require care at a specialist level
  • You may have problems that require a team approach i.e. your health needs encompass more than one specialty
  • You may need a test, procedure or service that is not carried out at your local practice

This wide range in possible reasons for your referral means that there is a similarly wide range in potential next steps. These may include:

  • A local clinic appointment for a scan, test or simple procedure (for example heart monitors or ear wax removal)
  • Your GP may have a conversation, either in person or electronically, with a specialist. In some cases the specialist can provide your GP with advice on treatment options or tests, and in other cases a hospital appointment would be more suitable. It may be that all three of these examples would be best for you.

Not all referrals require hospital visits and the local NHS is committed to enabling easy communication between GPs and Specialists to ensure care is provided closest to your home whenever possible.


DRSS are committed to supporting all patients with their referral process and are working on making the service more accessible for everyone. We are working on using on-line booking for services where hospitals have appointments that can be booked into straight away; being able to email letters to patients who opt in to the e-service and being able to LiveChat (or similar) with patients to book appointments rather than using a telephone.