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Referrals

Here are the referrals Bupa would accept, listed alphabetically

The following rules apply whether the referring healthcare provider is acting under the NHS or privately.

A&E NHS consultants and nurses can provide referrals for onward diagnosis or treatment, if the patient’s condition is stable.

Please be aware, if you require urgent care and/or an emergency admission you should go direct to an NHS A&E, which is staffed 24 hours and can manage any medical emergency. Please note, that Bupa doesn’t fund any direct admission into critical care or intensive care units.


An acupuncturist can provide a referral to a consultant to treat the symptoms the acupuncturist has seen the patient for.


An anaesthetist can provide a referral to a specialist.


An audiologist can refer to an Ear, Nose and Throat specialist or an Audio vestibular medicine consultant.

Please note, we’ll only fund treatment for hearing loss, if your hearing has suddenly got worse and the aim of the treatment is to permanently restore your hearing to how it was previously. This is because most of our policies don’t cover deafness caused by a congenital abnormality, maturing or ageing.

A CBT therapist can provide a referral to a mental health specialist.

See podiatrist referrals.

A chiropractor can refer to a specialist to treat the muscle, bone or joint condition the chiropractor has seen the patient for.

A company doctor can provide a referral to a specialist.

Consultant to consultant referrals are accepted as this normally happens when it is in the best clinical interests of the patient or part of the clinical pathway for which the patient is being treated.

A dentist can provide a referral to an oral or maxillofacial consultant.

Our policies don't normally cover dental or oral treatment, but there are some exceptions. Please call us and we'll be happy to go through your benefits.

A dietitian can provide a referral to a specialist to treat the symptoms the dietitian has seen the patient for.

Digital GP provides consultations with qualified GPs via video or phone appointments through its mobile application. A referral from a from Digital GP is accepted as this is the same as a GP referral.

See nurse referrals.

A GP can provide a referral to a specialist.

Referrals to a specialist are accepted when they are provided during a face to face discussion with a clinician during a health assessment.

Health visitors can refer to a specialist, in the same way as a GP.

Midwives can refer to a specialist in the same way as a GP.


Please note, our policies normally don’t cover conditions which relate to pregnancy and childbirth, so please call us to check your available benefits.

Nurses can provide a referral to a specialist.


An occupational health clinician can provide a referral to a specialist.

As occupational health technicians are not registered, we need a clinician to support any referral they make.

Opticians and optometrists can provide a referral to an ophthalmologist.


An osteopath can refer to a specialist to treat the muscle, bone or joint condition the osteopath has seen the patient for.


In certain situations, we can accept a referral for UK treatment from an overseas practitioner if:

  • The symptoms can be triaged through our Direct Access services e.g. a mental health, muscle, bone or joint condition or symptoms of cancer.
  • Treatment overseas has started, and the patient had to be repatriated to continue this in the UK and the medical notes are available in legible English.

Paramedics can provide a referral to a specialist.


A physiotherapist can provide a referral to a specialist to treat the symptoms the physiotherapist has seen the patient for.


A podiatrist can provide a referral to a specialist to treat the foot and ankle condition the podiatrist has seen the patient for.

Private GPs may refer for treatment with a specialist in the same way as an NHS GP.


A psychologist or psychotherapist can provide a referral to a mental health specialist.

ScreenCancer, via Boots pharmacy, can provide a referral to a dermatologist.

Skin analytics can provide a referral to a dermatologist.

A high-risk referral from SkinVision to a dermatologist is accepted.

A speech therapist can provide a referral to an ENT consultant.

A referral received via a remote consultation is accepted if the referrer is listed as accepted on this page.

Urgent care centre and walk -in clinic consultants, doctors and nurses can provide a referral to a specialist.

Please be aware, we don’t cover any treatment received whilst in a urgent Care centre or walk-in clinic.

Customers who live in the Isle of Man do not have access to Digital GP provided by Babylon but can access GP24 provided by HealthHero.

Bupa Digital GP Services is not regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority or the Prudential Regulation Authority.

Digital GP services are provided by Babylon Healthcare Services Limited. Registered in England and Wales number: 09229684. Registered office: 60 Sloane Avenue, London SW3 3DD.

Bupa health insurance is provided by Bupa Insurance Limited. Registered in England and Wales No. 3956433. Bupa Insurance Limited is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority. Arranged and administered by Bupa Insurance Services Limited, which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Registered in England and Wales No. 3829851. Registered office: 1 Angel Court, London EC2R 7HJ.

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