What is Choose and Book?
Since the summer of 2004, Choose and Book has been introduced across England. It will eventually be available to all patients.
Research has shown that patients want to be more involved in making decisions and choosing their healthcare. Most of the patients who are offered a choice of hospital view the experience as positive and valuable. So, the NHS is changing to give you more choice and flexibility in how you are treated.
Choose and Book is one of the first schemes that brings about this change, allowing you to choose from a range of hospitals as well as choose a convenient date and time for your first outpatient appointment to see a specialist.
The benefits of Choose and Book:
- You can choose from at least four hospitals
- You can also choose the date and time for your appointment.
- You experience greater convenience and certainty. With the old system, your hospital or clinic chose the date and time of your appointment. This may not have been convenient for you. With Choose and Book, the choice is yours.
- There is less chance that information will get lost in the post because more correspondence takes place through computers.
What does Choose and Book mean for me?
As well as giving you a choice of hospital, date and time for your appointment, Choose and Book will also give you the ability to:
- plan and manage around your existing appointments, if you are currently undergoing treatment
- fit your treatment in with your other commitments, at home and at work
- choose appointments that fit with your carer's schedule
- check the status of your referral and to change or cancel your appointments easily over the phone or on the internet.
How does Choose and Book work?
When you and your GP agree that you need an appointment with a specialist, Choose and Book shows your GP which hospitals or clinics are available for your treatment. Your GP discusses with you the clinically appropriate options that are available for treating your medical condition.
If you know where and when you would like to be seen, you may be able to book your appointment before you leave the surgery. You will be given confirmation of the place, date and time of your appointment.
You may want more time to consider your choices. If so, you can take the appointment request letter away with you and book your appointment later.
In some cases you will need to telephone your chosen hospital directly to make your appointment. This is because the hospital computer does not link to Choose and Book. This will change over time as the old hospital computers are replaced with new ones.
Can I book all my appointments through Choose and Book?
When you and your GP agree that you need an appointment with a specialist, you can book your first outpatient appointment using Choose and Book