Patient choice is at the heart of the NHS. There are a range of choices that patients should expect to be offered in the NHS services they use.
Patients using health services should, as a minimum, be able to say:
- I have discussed with my GP/health care professional the different options, pros and cons including, where appropriate, whether to have treatment.
- Following agreement to progress my care, I was offered choice of where to go for my first hospital/clinic appointment or diagnostic test, as appropriate.
- I was given a chance to choose a suitable alternative hospital/clinic when I was going to wait longer than the maximum time specified in my legal rights (18 weeks, or 2 weeks to see a specialist for cancer).
- 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.
Choosing your GP and GP practice
- Choose which GP practice you register with.
- Ask to see a particular doctor or nurse at the GP practice. Your practice must make every effort to meet your preferences to see the doctor or nurse you have asked for, although there are some occasions when this might not be possible.
Are these legal rights?
Yes but there are some circumstances in which you may not choose, please click here for when you may not be able to make the choice.
What other choices do I have?
- Choose where to go for your first appointment as an outpatient at a hospital or clinic.
- Ask to change hospital/clinic if you have to wait longer than the maximum waiting times (18 weeks, or 2 weeks to see a specialist for cancer).
- Choose who carries out a specialist test.
- Choose maternity services.
- Choose services provided in the community.
- Choose to take part in health research.
- Choose to have a personal health budget.
- Choose to access required treatment in another European Economic Area country.