Choices When Referred to a Specialist

This page has been archived. It has not been updated since 23/06/2011. External links and references may no longer work.

When you have decided with your GP that you are to be referred to see a specialist, you can usually choose which hospital you would like to go to. The following are resources that may help you to understand about choice in the NHS, and may help you to to make your choice.

Patient apple icon

About Patient Choice

From the NHS Choices website. Includes information for the public about how to make your choice of hospital.

Patient apple icon

Choosing your Hospital

A leaflet from the Department of Heath.

Patient apple icon

Department of Health - patient choice section of their website

Giving patients more choice about how, when and where they receive treatment is one cornerstone of the Government's health strategy. Another is giving members of the public a bigger hand in shaping local care systems. This area of their website contains policy documents and guidance about how these goals are being achieved.

Patient apple icon

Care Quality Commission

The Care Quality Commission is the heath and social care regulator for England. Part of their work is to award annual performance ratings for NHS trusts and care homes. On their website you can see how NHS trusts and care homes compare against each other in the areas that they are measured in. Recent additions to their site have been information about heart surgery survival rates in different heart units, and information about cosmetic surgery.

Patient apple icon

Choose and Book

Website that gives details of the Choose and Book service. When you and your GP agree that you need to see a specialist, you will be able to choose from at least four hospitals or clinics. You will also be able to choose the date and time of your appointment.

Patient apple icon


Allows people to record and save their personal health information, and to securely access the Choose and Book application to book or change their first outpatient appointment.

Patient apple icon

Patient Opinion

An independent service that tells you what other people are saying about your local health services and lets you share your story with others.

Patient apple icon

BBC health story on patient choice (and related links)

Reporting on the governments implementation of Patient Choice, differing opinions as to its value, and reflecting some criticism about it.

Patient apple icon

Dr Foster Guides

This website provides information on a range of health services in your area, including details about waiting lists and the doctors that might be treating you. It includes:

  • Hospital guide: search their database of NHS and private hospitals to find essential information on hospital specialties, facilities and waiting times.
  • Consultant guide: search their database of consultants to find the doctors that could treat you, their specialties and where they are based.
  • Birth guide: search their database of 260 birth units to help you find the maternity care best suited to your individual needs.
  • Breast Cancer Care: Search their database for a breast clinic or for a breast screening unit.
  • CAM Guide: This directory aims to help you find a complementary practitioner who meets all of your needs.
Patient apple icon

Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority

The HFEA Directory of Clinics provides patients with information about treatments for infertility and questions to ask clinics.

See also the Patient UK Find me a doctor, therapist ... etc page and the Patient Advocacy/Advice page which lists organisations such as the Patients Association, websites dealing with complaints procedures, etc.

Dr Tim Kenny
Document ID:
8371 (v7)
Last Checked:
23 June 2011

Disclaimer: This article is for information only and should not be used for the diagnosis or treatment of medical conditions. Patient Platform Limited has used all reasonable care in compiling the information but make no warranty as to its accuracy. Consult a doctor or other health care professional for diagnosis and treatment of medical conditions. For details see our conditions.