What happens to your referral
If your dentist has referred you for further investigation(s) or treatment this will now be arranged, with your consent, through the Dental Referral Management Service (DRMS). The DRMS is a service managed by a group of dental specialists many of whom are NHS Consultants. Our purpose is to make sure you get to see the right clinical team, at the right time and in the right place. If your care needs to be delivered in a hospital, we ensure that you can choose where you would like to be seen.
What happens next?
Your referral will be passed to the DRMS confidentially by your dental practitioner, if they use our online service this will be with us the same day as your referral is submitted. This is a safe and secure means of sending patient information using the internet. Your dentist may also post or fax your referral, please bear in mind it can take several days for post to reach us. We take data and information security very seriously and are registered with the ICO (information commissioner’s office), and we comply with all the necessary NHS regulations regarding patient data.
Once the staff at the DRMS receive your referral they will aim to process it within 48 hours (this is the time taken from receipt of referral to it being allocated to a provider – Waiting times are not included in this timeframe).
Your referral (including supporting information like x-rays) will be viewed by a Consultant in the speciality that you are being referred for. They will look at the complexity of your referral and decide if you need to be treated by a specialist.
The consultant will decide whether you can be treated in a community setting (primary care), or if you need to be seen in hospital (secondary care). In some cases a primary care option may not be available (depending on where you live and the dental speciality you need), in which case you will be offered an appointment at a hospital.
Tracking your referral
We know that you want to be kept informed about your referral and so you can find out how your referral is progressing through our referral tracking system.
You will need your referral’s unique reference number (URN) – you can get this from your dentist. Your URN is made up of ten digits – three letters and seven numbers and will look something like this: SAL1000145. The first three letters indicate the area you are being referred from (in this example it is Salford).
Simply enter in all the letters and numbers – with no spaces to see the information related to your referral.
We take data security very seriously, working within guidelines prepared by the NHS to ensure your personal information is kept secure at all times. You can learn more about NHS data security here. All of our staff are appropriately trained on information governance and we comply with the Information Governance Toolkit requirements for NHS Business Partners. You can read our Fair Processing Notice here – this explains about the data we collect and how it is processed.
Want to learn more about how we keep your records confidential?