Most of our Specialist referrals are done via the national Choose & Book system.

What is Choose and Book?

Choose and Book is a service that lets you choose your hospital or clinic and book an appointment. 

When you and your GP agree that you need an appointment, you can choose which hospital or clinic you go to. You will also be able to choose the date and time of your appointment.

The benefits of Choose and Book:

  • You can choose any hospital in England funded by the NHS (this includes NHS hospitals and some independent hospitals).
  • You can choose the date and time of your appointment.
  • You experience greater convenience and certainty.
  • There is less chance that information will get lost in the post because more correspondence takes place through computers.

How does Choose and Book work?

When you and your GP agree that you need an appointment with a specialist, Choose and Book shows your GP which hospitals or clinics are available for your treatment. Your GP discusses with you the clinically appropriate options which are available for treating your medical condition.

If you know where and when you would like to be seen, you may be able to book your appointment before you leave the surgery. You will be given confirmation of the place, date and time of your appointment.

You may want more time to consider your choices. If so, you can take the appointment request letter away with you and book your appointment later.

In some cases you will need to telephone your chosen hospital directly to make your appointment. This is because the hospital computer does not link to Choose and Book. This will change over time as the old hospital computers are replaced with new ones.

Can I book all my appointments through Choose and Book?

When you and your GP agree that you need an appointment with a specialist, you can book your first outpatient appointment using Choose and Book.



Will Choose and Book make getting an appointment faster?

Yes. The old process is that your GP writes a letter and the hospital allocates a date and time for your appointment. This could take several weeks and the date and time offered may or may not suit you.

In some cases Choose and Book will allow you to book your first hospital appointment immediately and electronically while you are still at the GP surgery, so that you can go home with a definite and convenient appointment in your hand.

Will Choose and Book reduce my waiting time?

Since 01 January 2006, no patient in England should have to wait more than 13 weeks from when they see their GP and the decision is made that a referral to a specialist is necessary, and their first outpatient appointment.

Choose and Book will offer you a list of hospitals to choose from, together with a range of available appointment dates and times within the guaranteed maximum waiting time. You can then decide to go to a particular hospital even if it means you will have to wait longer, or to have an earlier appointment at another hospital.

Information about waiting times at different hospitals is available on the NHS Choices website. You can also call The Appointments Line on 0845 60 88888 (open between 7am and 10 pm every day, all calls will be charged at local rate).


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