Improving your choice
Choose and Book is a referral system that allows you, the patient, to take more control over your own health, healthcare and treatment.
Operating since 2006 it means that, when you see your GP, if they decide that you need to see a specialist in a hospital setting, you will be given a choice of healthcare providers. You will also be given a choice of times and dates for your appointment.
The NHS Choices website will help you make your choice, allowing you to select hospitals and compare them on the criteria that matter most to you.
To find out more, visit: www.chooseandbook.nhs.uk
You can choose where to be treated, from a range of hospitals and other providers that meet NHS standards, that best suit your needs.
It may be that you want to go somewhere away from home but closer to your family; maybe good parking facilities are important to you; or you may want to check with friends and family or look into waiting times, cleanliness, or reputation. Whatever you base your decision on, the choice is now yours.
Compare different choices
The NHS Choices website will help you make your choice, allowing you to select a wide range of different hospitals and compare them on the criteria that matter most to you.
In many cases, you’ll be able to see how other patients rated the hospital and also add your own comments if you wish.
Limits to your choice
It may not always be possible for you to choose which hospital you go to. In the case of accidents and emergencies, for example, the ambulance crew may have to decide for you.
Even if your case is not an emergency, your GP may decide that you need to see a specialist quickly and advise you of the best place.
Areas of healthcare that are not subject to free choice include mental health services and maternity. However, even here you can still talk to your GP if you feel that the hospital you’re being referred to is not right for you and, once you’ve been seen by the specialist, you are entitled to ask for a second opinion.
For more information, visit: www.nhs.uk/choices