NHS Care Gateway

NHS Care Gateway – How your referrals are processed

The ‘Care Gateway’ team manages GP referrals for patients registered with a GP practice in Manchester.

We also:

  • Organise non–emergency patient transport for eligible patients in Manchester, Salford and Stockport.
  • Book community phlebotomy appointments for South Manchester patients (where their GP doesn’t have the capacity to do so).
  • Book diabetic retinopathy appointments for Manchester patients wishing to be seen at a community clinic.


Why have I been referred?
Your GP will discuss with you and, if appropriate, your carer, about why a referral is being recommended for you. It is usually because your GP wants a specialist’s help in deciding on the best way to treat your condition. This might involve referring you for tests or investigations that cannot be carried out at you GP practice.

What happens next?
If your GP decides that you need referring, a letter will be completed and sent to the Care Gateway team to process on your behalf. Your referral will be reviewed and if appropriate will go for further clinical assessment for the condition you are being referred for or straight to the booking stage.

Further clinical assessment – Triage
A clinical assessment is a detailed review of your referral letter carried out by a specialist clinician. This determines which type of service is most appropriate for you based on the information your GP has included in your referral letter.

The outcome of this process may be:

  • The reviewing clinician recommends a course of treatment that your GP may not have tried and they recommend this to your GP.
  • You are offered treatment by a clinician at a local community based service with more specialist knowledge.
  • You are offered treatment at a hospital by a clinician with more specialist knowledge.

The booking stage

If/when your referral reaches the booking stage, a member of the Care Gateway team will try to contact you via telephone or letter to discuss the choices of treatment and providers available to you. In the majority of cases the team will book your appointment with you. 

If the Care Gateway team have not had correspondence with you, an appointment will be generated on your behalf and you will receive the appointment details by post.

Patient Transport Services

The Care Gateway team arrange patient transport for patients whose medical condition means they cannot get to their appointment any other way.

The service provides a range of vehicle types and levels of care appropriate for the patient’s medical need to ensure patients travel as safely and as comfortably as possible to their appointment.

The areas the Care Gateway team book for in Greater Manchester are:

  • Central, North and South Manchester
  • Salford
  • Stockport

Bookings are made for the first out-patient appointment only. Any follow-up appointments are booked by the provider, with the exception of Stockport NHS Foundation Trust, the Care Gateway team book all follow-ups for this provider.

Diabetic Retinopathy

As part of the National Diabetic Eye Screening Programme, the Care Gateway team book appointments to the following clinics:

  • Ashton Primary Care Centre
  • Ann Street Health Centre
  • Dewsnap Lane Clinic
  • Glossop Primary Care Centre


On behalf of South Manchester GPs, the team book blood test at the following clinics:

  • Wythenshawe Forum
  • Wythenshawe Hospital
  • Withington Community Hospital
  • Burnage Health Centre

Contact Us

The Care Gateway opening hours are Monday to Friday 8:00am to 6:00pm, excluding Bank Holidays.

You can contact us by telephone or email on:

Tel: 0161 947 0770 or 0800 092 4020
Email: [email protected]

If you are calling to book an appointment from a GP referral and you have received a letter from us asking to call please press 1.
If you are calling to book transport, phlebotomy or diabetic retinopathy, please press 2.

For a list of FAQs that may be able to answer questions you have about your referral click here.