Helping primary care to support people with dementia

Choosing your hospital

March 12 2014
In England, under the NHS Constitution, patients ‘have the right to access consultant led non-emergency treatment within a maximum of 18 weeks, or for the NHS to take all reasonable steps to offer a range of alternative providers if this is not possible’.

Most patients also now have the right to choose which hospital provider they are referred to.  This legal right, which was introduced in April 2009, lets patients choose from any hospital provider in England offering a suitable treatment that meets NHS standards and costs.

Patients can choose which hospital they are seen in according to what matters most to them, whether it’s location, waiting times, reputation, clinical performance, visiting policies, parking facilities or other patients’ comments.

A choice of hospital is available for most patients and in most circumstances.  Exceptions include emergency and urgent services, cancer, maternity and mental health services.  If you need to be seen urgently by a specialist (for example, if you have severe chest pain), you will be sent where you’ll be seen most quickly.

Making your choice checklist

  1. Know your choices
    Discuss your options with your GP
  2. Find and compare hospitals
    Choose according to what matters most to you, and compare hospitals to make your choice
  3. Talk about it
    Discuss your choices with family or friends
  4. Book an appointment
    Contact your GP practice, or access Choose and Book online or by phone on 0345 608 8888

More information regarding your choice of hospital via the NHS Choices website:

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