Making a Referral
Who to refer
General information back to top
We accept referrals from GPs, Consultants, Specialist Nurses, Midwives and other health professionals. If you are in doubt about making a referral please write with a brief outline, or telephone if urgent, and we will gladly respond to your enquiry by telephone or in writing. Telephone number is 01392 405745 or
safe haven fax: 01392 405739
We are not part of a 'choose and book' system but operate a partial booking system where we send referred patients an invitation to telephone and make an appointment in one of the clinics that is convenient for them. If the patient does not respond to this invitation we may contact them to discuss this and/or discharge them back to the referrer, as appropriate.
Who to refer back to top
A referral may be indicated if there is a possibility of a personal or family history of a genetic disorder, and where there is one or more of the following:
· concern about a recurrence within a family,
· implications for surveillance or other management
· where there may be diagnostic doubt.
Urgent referrals back to top
If you are referring an individual for prenatal advice or for a cancer family history where the affected individual is terminally ill, please fax your referral to us (01392 405739) outlining the reason for referral. You may wish to use one of the fax referral forms below.
please click on the link to download:
Prenatal fax referral form
Cancer fax referral form
Secure fax number: 01392 405739
Cancer referrals back to top
If you wish to refer a patient for genetic advice because of a personal or family history of cancer, please endeavour to provide a completed family history sheet (A3 version) or A4 version (FHS).
In order to make an accurate risk assesment, we need information about the types of cancer in the family and ages at diagnosis. Some cancers, especially abdominal or gynaecological are frequently mis-reported, so we aim to verify those through hospital records or cancer registries. This process is worthwhile because it leads to a significant change in the risk assessment in 10 - 15% of cases.
We understand that information about a person's family history is often incomplete, but some information is better than none. If we have the relative's name, date of birth, address or approximate area of residence, we can often verify the information through health records. We are able to access information about deceased relatives, but we always seek consent from living relatives via the referred patient. We do not contact relatives directly.
If there is an urgent need for risk assessment or DNA storage, e.g. in case of terminal illness, it would still be helpful to receive a completed FHS, however, if this would cause delay, please fax us a written referral and we will contact the patient by telephone. You may wish to use the fax referral form.
If you or your patient have any questions about this, please telephone our Family History team on 01392 405746.
If your concern is about a family history of breast cancer it may be helpful to look at the NICE guidance for familial breast cancer.
In general, for common cancers, an individual is unlikely to be at significantly increased risk unless they have two or more affected relatives, or a relative diagnosed at a very young age.
Please note that genetic testing for a cancer family history is usually only practical where a blood sample is available from an affected relative, although, following the release of the new NICE guidelines in June 2013 and the improvement in technology and knowledge, it may be possible in some circumstances to offer testing to unaffected individuals where there is a significant chance of finding a mutation.
Testing of 'at risk, or unaffected individuals is usually only possible when a pathogenic mutation has already been identified in the family.
General referrals back to top
Please write to us outlining the reason for referral. It is helpful if your patient is aware that they have been referred to the genetics service and the reason why.
We send all our referred patients a family history sheet (FHS) to complete. If you are aware that this may cause a difficulty, due to literacy, sight or language problems, please inform us when you make the referral. If it is possible to send the completed form with the referral, we would be very grateful.
FHS for adult referrals
FHS for child referrals
If you are referring a patient with a possible diagnosis of Marfan syndrome, please refer your patient for an echocardiogram and ophthalmic assessment if not already done.
All referrals should be addressed to:
Peninsula Clinical Genetics
Royal Devon & Exeter Hospital (Heavitree)
TEL: 01392 405745
FAX: 01392 405739
Useful links back to top
UNIQUE: chromosome disorders
Contact a Family: for families with disabled children
Macmillan Cancer Support