Referrals & Choice

NHS England is committed to making good on the NHS’ longstanding promise to give patients choice over where and how they receive care. This requires a radical step-up in awareness, offer, uptake and operation of patient choice.
The Choice Framework published by the Department of Health sets out the nine main types of choices that should be available to patients in the NHS.
Our vision is that by 2020:
 

  • All patients are aware of the choices available, particularly where these are legal rights
  • All patients are offered choices and have the information and support they need to make well informed choices that meet their needs and preferences
  • All providers make good quality, up to date information about their services available to enable meaningful and timely choice by patients, and accept all appropriate patient referrals in line with the NHS Standard Contract
  • All commissioners enable choice by commissioning services from a range of providers to meet patients’ needs and preferences, operate referral processes that support patient choice, and use appropriate contractual levers to ensure choice works well for patients

 For choice to be meaningful, patients using health services commissioned by CCGs should be able to say:
 

  • I have discussed with my GP/health care professional the different options, pros and cons including; where appropriate, whether to choose to have treatment
  • I was offered a choice of where to go for my care or tests, as appropriate
  • I was given an opportunity to choose a suitable alternative provider when I was going to wait longer than the time specified in my legal rights
  • Information to help me make my decisions was available and I knew where to find it in a format that was accessible to me

I was given sufficient time to consider what was right for me

For more information and to print out a copy of the patient information leaflet regarding choice, click here
For easy read versions, click here
To compare hospitals, consultants and to see much more performace data that the NHS collects to help you make your choice, click here

For information of the NHS E Referral system (used to be known as Choose & Book), please follow this link