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Patient choice

If your GP refers you… you can choose

If your GP needs to refer you to a particular service for a physical or mental health condition, in most cases you have a legal right to choose which hospital or service you go to. You can also choose where to give birth. This includes NHS and many private hospitals that provide services to the NHS. You may also choose your clinical team led by a consultant or named healthcare professional.

There are a number of places where you can access information about hospitals and services:

  • You can ask your GP about what might be the best choice for you, once you tell them what matters to you most.
  • You can compare information about hospitals, services and consultants at www.nhs.uk. This website includes information about the quality of care, waiting times, parking and travel. Simply search using the ‘Services Near You’ option available at the top of page. You can also search according to the operations and treatments that the hospitals or services offer.               

For more information on your rights around patient choice, you can visit www.nhs.uk/patientchoice, ask your GP, or read this online leaflet