Choose and Book – What is it?
Choose and Book is a national electronic referral service which gives patients a choice of place, date and time for their first outpatient appointment in a hospital or clinic. If you want to, you can choose where you go for your first consultation by comparing the hospitals you have been shortlisted at. If you have been referred to a specialist by your GP and you have an appointment reference number and a password you can book, change or cancel your appointment online or by phone. The Appointment Line is 0845 60 88888 and is open every day from 7am to 10pm.
What does Choose and Book mean for you?
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. Your Appointment Request letter lists your unique booking reference number, your NHS number and a list of hospital or clinic options for you to choose from. Your GP practice will also give you a password with your Appointment Request letter. You can then decide how you wish to book your appointment; via the telephone, using the national number on the letter or via the internet. Please note that whilst the vast majority of appointments can be booked this way, 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 hospital or clinic appointment using Choose and Book. The benefits of Choose and Book:
• You can choose any hospital in England funded by the NHS (this includes NHS hospitals and some independent hospitals).
• You can choose the date and time of your appointment.
• You experience greater convenience and certainty. 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.
More information is available on at http://www.chooseandbook.nhs.uk/