Skip to main content


Self-referral can be used to access some free NHS health services without needing an appointment with your GP. This leaflet explains which services you can access.

Continue reading below

What is self-referral?

Did you know that there are some free NHS health services you can access without needing an appointment with your GP? This is called self-referral and could help you find the care you need quicker and more easily than going through your surgery.

Self-referral often includes services for drug and alcohol problems, as well as antenatal care and improving access to psychological therapies (IAPT).

You can register for most of them online. In some cases you refer yourself by phoning rather than emailing or by completing an online form. Just click on the service you're interested in, then search your area for a simple link to the easiest way to access the service.

Self-referral services vary by area though - and they might be provided by a variety of organisations, all approved and commissioned by the NHS.

Find more information and services local to you by visiting the following links. If you can't find the information you need, try searching the NHS website or contact your GP practice.

You can contact the Patient Access team with any questions about the NHS self-referral feature on the Patient Access Support page by clicking the 'Contact Support' button.

Which services can I self refer to?

Self-referral to hospital consultant clinics is not available on the NHS. If you feel you need a referral to a hospital speciality, you should contact your GP who will decide whether you are eligible for referral. If they do, your GP will make the referral.

The NHS self-referral services below have been included because they are available to most or all patients across the UK.

Some other community services, including podiatry and physiotherapy, are not available via self-referral on the NHS in most areas of the UK. They have therefore not been included in our list of available services.

An NHS self-referral option has been introduced in a few areas. You can find out whether self-referral for any community service not listed below is available in your area by:

  • Asking at your GP practice

  • Contacting your local Clinical Commissioning Group if you live in England.

  • Exploring local self-referral NHS options on the internet.

Continue reading below

Refer yourself to NHS health services

Antenatal care

Counselling and talking therapies

Drug and alcohol support services

Stop smoking services

Sexual health services

There are a variety of other NHS services which allow self-referral but (as mentioned above) these are not available in all localities. In addition to physiotherapy and podiatry, there may also be support for carers, dementia support, wellbeing services, learning disability and autism services and gender identity services.

Article history

The information on this page is written and peer reviewed by qualified clinicians.

symptom checker

Feeling unwell?

Assess your symptoms online for free