As part of St James’s commitment to quality and the Patient's Charter, we continue to strive for improvement in the quality of communication systems and response times in dispatching outpatient appointments. To assist the Hospital in achieving these aims we request that GPs/External Consultants referring patients to any of the services follow the procedure detailed below:

Requests for OPD Appointments should be addressed as follows:

    • Top left hand side - OPD Appointment
    • The addressee - Consultants Name & Speciality
    • Speciality - These referral letters will be prioritised and an appointment will be made with the appropriate Consultant.  Clinical priority will dictate the urgency of the appointment.
    • St. James’s Hospital Designated Catchment Areas.
    • For Pyschiatric Referrals please consult Mental Health Catchment Area.
    • Cancer Referrals

Getting the referral letter to St. James's Hospital

All referral letters upon receipt are prioritised by the Consultant or Senior Registrar as to whether the patient is seen as an URGENT, SOON or ROUTINE appointment..

If a GP/External Consultant wishes to contact a Consultant regarding an Urgent referral, the Consultant Secretary should be contacted in the first instance.

In general OPD Clinics are booked to ensure that there are enough “SOON” and “URGENT” appointments available to facilitate these types of referrals.

Referral Letter/Form

To help us deal with your referral, please use one of the specific specialty forms.  If there is not a suitable form on the list please ensure your referral letter/Standard OPD Referral Form includes the following:

  • Hospital & Specialty Required
  • Clinical Priority
  • Date of Referral
  • Full GP & practice details or External Consultant name & External Agency
  • Complete patient demographic data including correct name spelling, address, gender and date of birth
  • Patient's contact telephone numbers etc (these are important in instances when we may be able to offer a patient an earlier or cancelled appointment)
  • Reason for Referral / Anticipated Outcome.
  • All relevant clinical information
  • Information on any relevant pathology or X-ray tests carried out

Appointments Policy

The Hospital's policy is to contact patients with an appointment within 10 working days of receipt of referral letter.

If you have any queries in connection with your appointment please contact the appropriate consultant secretary or the appointments department at 4103434 / 4103433

Patients who did not attend (DNA) an OPD Appointment

All patients (new & return) who did not attend an appointment twice will be removed from the outpatient waiting list and the referrer notified in writing.  Authorisation to re-appoint or discharge rests with the consultant.

Patients who cancel an Outpatient Appointment

Patients who cancel their outpatient appointment will be given the next available date at the time of cancellation. 

If a patient cancels on more than two occasions, they will be discharged from the outpatient waiting list.  Only the consultant, upon review of the patients medical chart can authorise reversal of this discharge.

Clinic Cancellation or Reduction

The only acceptable reason for any clinic cancellation is the absence of medical staff. 

The directorate Business Manager will ensure that systems are in place to give a minimum of six weeks notice of such planned absences.   

Where possible patients will not be cancelled more than once.

Patients who die outside of the Hospital

If a GP becomes aware that one of their patients has died who attended St. James's Hospital, please notify us by FAX at 01 410 3464

SICP Electronic Referral

St James’s Hospital in partnership with the HSE South Western Area, the HSE Shared Services Eastern Region and the South Inner City Partnership in Primary Care (SICP), have initiated Electronic Outpatient Referrals.  GPs affiliated to the SICP now have the ability to send referrals via secure email to a central email address:

These emails are encrypted to preserve patient confidentiality.  The referrals are forwarded from the central point to the appropriate consultant.  The appointment date is subsequently available on a secure extranet which the GP can access using a Digital ID.  The GP will receive an email to inform him that there is a message on the extranet for him / her.

Referrals must be written in Word and attached to the email.  A Template is available from St James’s Hospital or GPs can use a Word document generated by their own Practice Systems. 

The Subject line of the email should contain only the Specialty and / or the name of the Consultant to whom the referral is being made.

Appointments for all Outpatient areas, with the exception of private referrals and referrals to the Radiology Dept., can be made in this way. to register for healthmail in order to send electronic referrals (For Doctors use only)

GPS from outside the SICP should contact their local Partnership Programme / Project Manager.