As set out in the NHS Constitution, patients have a number of choices concerning their care and treatment.
These choices include:
- the right to choose your GP surgery and to be accepted by that practice unless there are reasonable grounds to refuse, in which case you will be informed of those reasons;
- the right to express a preference for using a particular doctor within your GP surgery, and for the surgery to try to comply;
- Central to Patient Choice is the right to choose the hospital provider and elective care provided;
- the right to be involved in decisions about your healthcare and to be given the information you need to do this.
You can read more about your choices within the NHS by visiting the NHS website.
These aren't the only choices you can make. There are choices in your lifestyle, decisions about your treatment, and even the way in which you interact with doctors and other health professionals that can all affect your health.
To get the full benefit of the health service it's essential to give careful consideration to these other choices too.
Tools to help you make an informed choice
The NHS Choices website helps patients in this area by providing tools and information. The resources include:
- Health A-Z. Use the Health A-Z to see the common treatment options for particular conditions and find links to specialist charities and patient groups in each area.
- Scorecard. Use this tool to compare hospitals according to a range of performance measures and facilities. You can view your results by treatment type.
- NHS e-Referral. The online service that allows patients to book their own hospital appointments.