Your choice


Patient choice

Did you know that in many cases you have the legal right to choose where you have your NHS treatment? The NHS is committed to offering more and more options to let you choose what best suits you and to give you greater control of your care.

You can view what choices are currently available to NHS patients in the NHS Choice Framework. You will also find information about when you cannot choose – for example, if you need emergency care. Make sure you know which options apply to you.

Your choice in referral

You’ll usually need a GP referral to access hospital treatment, except in an emergency. If you’re referred for your first hospital appointment, in most cases you have the right to choose which hospital in England to go to and which consultant-led team you wish to be in charge of your care, as long as that team provides the treatment you require. This choice is a legal right.

You can find further information on your choices and how the NHS can help you choose on the NHS website.

What can I do if I’m not offered a choice?

You should always be offered a choice at the point of referral and an opportunity to discuss the options with the person referring you.

If you feel you have not been offered a choice, you should speak to the person who is referring you in the first instance.

If you still feel that you have not been offered a choice, there are a number of groups you can contact listed on the NHS website.

NHS Resources

The NHS website has a number of resources regarding patient choice. Click the links below to find out more about your choices in your care.

Your choices in the NHS

About NHS hospital services

The NHS Choice Framework: what choices are available to me in the NHS?

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