Follow the 34 tips given in the sample OET Transfer Letter with case notes below, and you will find that securing A or B for OET writing sub-test is much easier than thought.

A transfer letter is usually addressed to a medical professional to request further care/treatment/management after a change in residential location (from one residential care to another). In some cases, it could be transfer from one department to another department in the same medical facility.

In this scenario, the patient who has undergone appropriate investigations/care/treatment in one department is transferred to another department in the same hospital or a different hospital, where the patient has to ‘stay’. For example, from surgical ICU to ward of the same hospital, from a hospital to a rehabilitation centre, etc.

Please note, it may sound like a discharge letter as some case notes may include the word ‘discharge’ in places. Therefore, read the case notes carefully to understand the following differences.

Discharge Letter

  • The patient is discharged to his/her residential location.
  • The continuity of care is then the responsibility of the patient’s GP/primary care physician or nursing home.
  • The addressee has an existing relation with the patient, which means the intended reader may already know the patient and his/her history.

Transfer Letter

  • The patient is transferred to a new residential care.
  • The continuity of care is the responsibility of concerned medical professional of the residential care.
  • The addressee does not know the patient or his/her history. Therefore, (only) relevant medical/social/family that supports the expected care/action by the addressee should be included.

Therefore, always keep in mind who is the intended reader and what he/she should know.

The sample transfer letter given below will help you understand how to select case notes for this specific scenario, present them appropriately using good vocabulary and organize them logically.

It’s worth reading the entire article as the tips given are universal and easily apply to any type of OET case notes scenario. Last but not least, don’t forget to take the mock test and quiz given at the end.

OET Case Notes
Transfer Letter (Medicine)
Note:

You are the resident doctor on the medical ward of Weiss Hospital, where Mrs. Garber was admitted for pacemaker placement surgery.

PATIENT DETAILS:

Name: Christina Garber

DOB: 15/09/1944 (77 YO)

Cultural and religion data: British & Catholic, native English speaker

Admission Date: 3rd Jan 2022

Discharge Date: 20th Jan 2022

Social History:

  • Married, lives with 79 y.o. husband, Ralph, in one bedroom apt
  • Well maintained home, good nutrition
  • Both very independent
  • Three daughters, all live out-of-state
  • Interests include bingo and word searches
  • Former smoker, 20 pack year
  • 2-3 glasses of wine per week

Medical History and Medications:

  • Diabetes type 1 (1947 – insulin pump 2 yr)
  • Depression (1966 – sertraline)
  • Ectopic pregnancy (1969)
  • Hypertension (1987 – metoprolol)
  • Bilateral knee replacement (1992)
  • Hysterectomy (1997)
  • Hearing loss (2010 – hearing aids)

TREATMENT SUMMARY:
16/12/2021

  • Fallen at home rising from chair, unconscious for 5 mins, upon awakening was unsure why she fell
  • Ambulance brought to ED after EMS call by husband
  • X-rays show no fractures
  • HR 40bpm, BP 138/79, T 37.1C
  • Echo – NAD
  • ECG – 2nd degree AV Block type 2
  • Blood sugar levels – normal
  • Creatinine ↑(3.1) – Renal failure?, needs monitoring
  • Admitted to in-patient floor
  • Initiated atropine, pt’s HR returned to normal range (88 bpm)
  • Aggressive hydration with normal saline

Diagnosis: Bradycardia with progressive AV block

  • Discussed permanent pacemaker (PPM) placement due to danger of possible complete AV block, pt in agreement
  • Surgery after 2 weeks scheduled
  • Discharged on 20/12/2021

03/01/2022

  • Permanent pacemaker (PPM) placement surgery successful, no post-op complications
  • Left arm on sling for 3 days

20/01/2022

  • Vitals normal
  • PPM interrogation done; settings confirmed as per the cardiologist’s order
  • Incision site intact & healing
  • Plan to transfer to rehab

Plan @ Rehab Facility:

  • Monitor BP, HR daily
  • Ensure adequate hydration and check creatinine level weekly
  • Pt can self-care but new exercise regime assistance required
  • Avoid activities that strain chest, upper arm muscles.
  • Avoid raising affected arm above shoulder
  • Pt can return home with husband post cardiology R/v @ Weiss Hospital.

Writing Task
Using the information given in the case notes, write a transfer letter to Mr. William Connolly, the chief physiotherapist at Lakeshore Rehabilitation Center, Joliet, where Mrs. Christina Garber will be discharged to from your ward for further rehabilitation.

Let us structure the first part of the sample transfer letter and see what information should be included there.

Date & Recipient Details
Date (Relevant date as per the case notes or Date of Examination)

Full name of the recipient with title
Designation/job title
Address

Greeting (Dear ……. ) (Second name of the recipient with appropriate title)

Reference line (Re: the patient’s full name & DOB)

Tip 1: ‘20 January 2022’ is the preferred date format at the start. In real exam, it is generally the examination date that should be written at the top.

Tip 2:  Interchanging the order of Date & Recipient’s Details is acceptable.

Tip 3:  Interchanging the order of Greeting & Reference Line is acceptable.

Tip 4:  If date of birth (DOB) is given, write that in the reference line. If age is also given, mention that in introduction.

Tip 5: If the recipient is not a doctor (Dr.), use appropriate title.

Tip 6: Watch the spelling. If you are using British/American spelling, be consistent in the letter. Avoid mixing the styles.

20 January 2021

Mr. William Connolly
The Chief PhysiotherapistLakeshore Rehabilitation CenterJoliet

Dear Mr. Connolly

RE: Mrs. Christina Garber, DOB: 15/09/1944

Now, let us take a stepwise approach to composing each paragraph.

Introduction
Patient, Medical Issue & Purpose
Writing ‘introduction’ of a transfer OET letter is similar to a referral or a discharge letter. It covers the name of the patient, introduces the medical complaint and discusses the reason(s) for writing the letter.

Tip 7:  Keep in mind that excluding the purpose would affect your score negatively.

Tip 8:  Read the ‘Note’ & ‘Writing Task’ given at the start and end of the case notes respectively to identify the purpose.

Tip 9:  You may use the key word ‘transfer to indicate the purpose as you are writing to transfer the patient to the care of the addressee.

Tip 10:  Avoid usingyour patient as this is similar to referral or emergency scenarios, when the recipient is seeing the patient for the first time.

Tip 11:  Avoid using ‘a/the/this/my patient’ to refer to the patient in the letter as it is considered less polite.

Tip 12:  Write full name with title at the first occurrence in introduction as the patient is an adult.

Tip 13: In introduction, the purpose should be general information related to expected care/action. A specific & detailed plan should be included in conclusion.

Tip 14: Try to include when the patient will be transferred.

Tip 15: Avoid secondary information/details that may obscure the objective of introduction.

Introduce the patient. Refer PATIENT DETAILS

Mrs. Christina Garber, a 77-year-old woman

Medical Complaint: Refer Note & Plan dated 20/01/2022

Admitted to Weiss Hospital for admitted for pacemaker placement surgery for a heart block

Reason for writing the letter: Refer Writing Task.

Write a transfer letter to Mr. William Connolly, …… for further rehabilitation.

The introduction of your OET letter is now

I am writing to transfer Mrs. Christina Garber, a 77-year-old woman who underwent permanent pace maker placement surgery. Her condition is stable and requires rehabilitation at your center following her discharge today.

Body Paragraph 1
Medical/Social history
Refer ‘Social History’ &Medical History and Medications’.

Tip 16:  Relevant information. Select only what the reader (a physiotherapist) should keep in mind while the patient is in his care.

Tip 17: Irrelevant information/details should be ignored. Otherwise, it may confuse the reader, and even be counter-productive as it may increase the length of your letter.

Social/Medical family:

  • ·Married, lives with 79 y.o. husband, Ralph, in one bedroom apt
  • ·Well maintained home, good nutrition
  • ·Both very independent
  • ·Three daughters, all live out-of-state     
  • ·Interests include bingo and word searches
  • ·Former smoker, 20 pack year
  • ·2-3 glasses of wine per week

Medical History and Medications:

  • ·Diabetes type 1 (1947 – insulin pump 2 yr)
  • ·Depression (1966 – sertraline)
  • ·Ectopic pregnancy (1969)
  • ·Hypertension (1987 – metoprolol)
  • ·Bilateral knee replacement (1992)
  • ·Hysterectomy (1997)
  • ·Hearing loss (2010 – hearing aid)

Tip 18:  Use second name with appropriate title when referring to the (adult) patient initially in a paragraph.

Tip 19:  Avoid using pronouns to refer to the patient at the first occurrence in a paragraph.

Tip 20: Generic drug names (insulin pump, sertraline and metoprolol) should not be capitalized.

Let’s compile relevant information and compose the body paragraph 1 as follows.

Mrs. Garber lives with her husband and has type1 diabetes, depression and hypertension, for which she is on insulin pump, sertraline and metoprolol, respectively. She also wears a hearing aid.

Body Paragraph 2
Events that led to the diagnosis
Refer ‘TREATMENT SUMMARY’ dated 16/12/2021.

Tip 21:  Detailed medical information and technical terms should be avoided as you are writing to a physiotherapist. (Instead of ‘second-degree AV block type 2’, you may say ‘second-degree heart block’.)

TREATMENT SUMMARY:

16/12/2021

  • ·Had fallen at home rising from chair, was unconscious for 5 mins, upon awakening was unsure why she fell
  • ·Ambulance brought to ED after EMS call by husband
  • ·X-rays show no fractures
  • ·HR 40bpm, BP 138/79, T 37.1C
  • ·Echo – NAD
  • ·ECG – 2nd degree AV Block type 2
  • ·Blood sugar levels – normal
  • ·Creatinine ↑(3.1) – Renal failure?, needs monitoring
  • ·Admitted to in-patient floor
  • ·Initiated atropine, pt’s HR returned to normal range (88 bpm)
  • ·Aggressive hydration with normal saline

Diagnosis: Bradycardia with progressive AV block

  • •  Discussed permanent pacemaker (PPM) placement due to danger of possible complete AV block, pt in agreement
  • •  Discharged on 20/12/2021

Tip 22: Exact dates of initial admission and discharge are not important.

Tip 23: Numerical values of tests and vital signs are not relevant to the reader.

This paragraph can be written as below.

In December 2021, Mrs. Garber was diagnosed with bradycardia when she was admitted to Weiss hospital following a fall at home. An ECG confirmed a second-degree heart block Additionally, her creatinine level was elevated, indicating a possible renal failure.

Body Paragraph 3
Current Hospitalization
Refer ‘TREATMENT SUMMARY’ dated 03/01/2022 & 20/01/2022.

03/01/2022

  • ·Permanent pacemaker (PPM) placement surgery successful, no post-op complications
  • ·Left arm on sling for 3 days

20/01/2022

  • ·Vitals normal
  • ·PPM interrogation done; settings confirmed as per the cardiologist’s order
  • ·Incision site intact & healing
  • ·Plan to transfer to rehab

NOTE:  Refer Tips 16, 17 & 21.

Tip 24: Avoid repeating ‘permanent pacemaker (PPM) placement surgery’ as it is already mentioned in introduction. ‘The surgery’ is sufficient.

Tip 25:  Mention ‘Today’ as the letter is dated today as per case notes.

Compile relevant information to form the following.

As part of management, Mrs. Garber underwent the surgery on 03/01/2022, and her post-operative recovery was uneventful. Today, Mrs. Garber’s condition was reviewed, and she is physically fit to be transferred for rehabilitative care.

Conclusion
Expected Care/Action by the Reader
After briefing the reader on the patient’s medical history, conclude the letter explaining the purpose of the letter in detail.

Refer ‘PLAN’ dated 20/01/2022.

Plan @ Rehab Facility:

  • ·BP, HR daily monitoring
  • ·Ensure adequate hydration and check creatinine level weekly
  • ·Pt capable of self-care but need assistance for new exercise regime
  • ·Avoid activities that strain chest, upper arm muscles.
  • ·Avoid raising affected arm above shoulder
  • ·Pt can return home with husband post cardiology R/v @ Weiss Hospital.

Tip 26:  This is the most relevant information to the reader and should be written in a separate paragraph for visibility. (This is the detailed/specific purpose of the letter, which was indicated in the introduction as ‘rehabilitation’.)

Tip 27: Ensure no information related to expected care/action is excluded.

Tip 28: Note that only the information related to further care was selected from the earlier parts of case notes (see the underlined information).

Tip 29: Make sure the tone used is polite & formal.

Therefore, the letter can be concluded as below.

In your care, please monitor Mrs. Garber’s BP and heart rate daily, hydrate her sufficiently and check her creatinine level weekly. Even though she can manage herself, assistance while commencing a new exercise regimen would be appreciated. Kindly note, activities that exert strain on her chest or left upper arm muscles should be avoided, and she should be refrained from raising the affected arm above the shoulder level. Mrs. Garber can be discharged home with her husband after a cardiology review at hospital.

Closing Sentence
Not included in Word Count
Tip 30:  You can be relieved that the closing sentence is not considered for ‘word count’. However, remember  not writing closing sentence may affect your score negatively.

Tip 31:  A typical polite closing sentence can be written as the addressee can get back to the writer if he needs more information about the patient.

In case of any queries, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Complementary Close
Yours…..
Use appropriate salutations in the letter.

Tip 32:  Yours sincerely (If the name of the recipient is given.)

Tip 33:  Yours faithfully (If the name of the recipient is NOT given.)

Tip 34  Write the name of the profession/designation indicated in the case notes. Give the name of the hospital or organization if given.

In this case,

Yours sincerely,
Doctor
Weiss Hospital

Mock Test
Test Your Writing Skills

Mr. William Connolly
The Chief Physiotherapist
Lakeshore Rehabilitation Center
Joliet

Dear Mr. Connolly

RE: Mrs. Christina Garber, DOB: 15/09/1944

I am writing to Mrs. Christina Garber, a woman who underwent permanent pace maker placement surgery. Her condition is stable and requires rehabilitation at your following her discharge today.

Mrs. Garber lives with her husband and has type1 diabetes, depression and hypertension, for which she is on insulin pump, sertraline and metoprolol, respectively. She also wears a hearing aid.

, Mrs. Garber was diagnosed with bradycardia when she was admitted to Weiss hospital at home. An ECG confirmed a second-degree heart block , her creatinine level was , indicating a possible renal failure.

As part of management, underwent on 03/01/2022, and her post-operative recovery was . Today, Mrs. Garber’s condition , and she is physically fit to be for care.

In your care, please monitor Mrs. Garber’s BP and heart rate daily, hydrate her sufficiently and check her creatinine level weekly. Even though she can manage herself, while commencing a new exercise program would be appreciated. Kindly note, activities that exert strain on her chest or left upper arm muscles should be avoided, and she should be refrained raising the affected arm above the shoulder level. Mrs. Garber can home with her husband after a cardiology review at hospital.

In case of any queries, hesitate to contact me.

Yours

Doctor

Weiss Hospital

/ 19
 
Final Sample Letter
20 January 2022

Mr. William Connolly
The Chief Physiotherapist
Lakeshore Rehabilitation Center
Joliet

Dear Mr. Connolly

RE: Mrs. Christina Garber, DOB: 15/09/1944

I am writing to transfer Mrs. Christina Garber, a 77-year-old woman who underwent permanent pace maker placement surgery. Her condition is stable and requires rehabilitation at your center following her discharge today.

Mrs. Garber lives with her husband and has type1 diabetes, depression and hypertension, for which she is on insulin pump, sertraline and metoprolol, respectively. She also wears a hearing aid.

In December 2021, Mrs. Garber was diagnosed with bradycardia when she was admitted to Weiss hospital following a fall at home. An ECG confirmed a second-degree heart block Additionally, her creatinine level was elevated, indicating a possible renal failure.

As part of management, Mrs. Garber underwent the surgery on 03/01/2022, and her post-operative recovery was uneventful.

Today, Mrs. Garber’s condition was reviewed, and she is physically fit to be transferred for rehabilitative care.

In your care, please monitor Mrs. Garber’s BP and heart rate daily, hydrate her sufficiently and check her creatinine level weekly. Even though she can manage herself, assistance while commencing a new exercise program would be appreciated. Kindly note, activities that exert strain on her chest or left upper arm muscles should be avoided, and she should be refrained from raising the affected arm above the shoulder level. Mrs. Garber can be discharged home with her husband after a cardiology review at hospital.

In case of any queries, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Yours sincerely
Doctor
Weiss Hospital

Check Your Knowledge

Start

One thought on “Sample OET Transfer Letter w/ Case Notes & Tips”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.