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Secondary & Tertiary Care

Secondary care

A patient who has been provided with primary care may be referred to a secondary care professional – a specialist with expertise on the patient’s issue.  These are consultant-led services which include psychology, psychiatry and orthopaedics.

Secondary care is usually (but not always) delivered in a hospital/clinic with the initial referral being made by the primary care professional.

Tertiary care

Once a patient is hospitalized, they may require highly specialised treatment and care within the hospital. Tertiary care requires professionals, usually surgeons, with specific expertise in a given field, to carry out investigation and treatment for the patient.  Examples include neurosurgery, cardiac surgery and cancer management.