Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Patient Choice - What is it? 

Q: What is Patient Choice?

The NHS is changing to give you more choice about where and when you are treated and a greater say in how you are treated. When you have decided with your GP that you are going to see a specialist for further treatment you will be offered treatment from a list of at least four local hospitals or clinics.

Why would I want to choose which hospital treats me?

If you choose which hospital you are treated in, you can make sure that you go to the place that will best suit your needs.

Q: What if I don’t want to go to a different hospital?

You don't have to. If you would rather visit the hospital that you usually go to, then you can make that choice

Then you get a letter to say CHOOSE & BOOK

Choose and Book Appointments Line

This is a 'phone line where call-centre staff can give you information about your list of hospitals or clinics. They may also be able to tell you what dates and times are free for an appointment with a specialist. This will depend on which hospitals you are considering.

When you call the Appointments Line you will be asked to give your password and appointment reference number, which will be on your appointment request letter. If your appointment reference number is not available, the Choose and Book Appointments Line staff may still be able to help if you confirm your personal details, such as your name, address and date of birth. You will still need to give your password.
Calls to the Appointments Line on 0845 608 8888 are charged at the local rate.
The Appointments Line is open every day from 7am to 10pm.
If you do not speak English, translation services are available.
If you cannot use a phone, textphone services are available on 0845 8 50 22 50.

Remember, in some cases you can only check the availability of appointment slots or book your appointment by calling the hospital or clinic directly. This will in no way affect the quality of care you receive.

But if you go on my experience of the 11th December 2006, you will still be waiting for an appointment and you will be out of pocket as you have to use an 0845 number.........The excuse was the computer system was down and could I call back in 48 hours !!
Also I asked about the 3 choices I had been given and the order in which they were listed, they were not listed in Geographical distances from my postcode nor in alphabetical order, I had 3 choices 1, Peterborough, 2 Hinchingbrooke & 3 Addenbrookes, when asked the operator did not know how these choices were arrived at and to how they are determined in list/choice order..............mmmmm yeah right.
I also said who in their right mind would travel to Hospitals 20 plus miles from their home and she replied ""well I wouldn't, not with the cost of transport and the state of the roads, enough said....................