Research has shown that patients want to be more involved in making decisions and choosing their healthcare. Most of the patients who are offered a choice of hospital view the experience as positive and valuable.
Electronic Referrals give you more choice and flexibility in how you are treated, allowing you to choose the hospital where you will be seen by a specialist.
You are able to choose the date and time of your appointment either with the assistance of staff in the surgery or by telephoning or going on-line and quoting a unique booking reference number we will provide to you (see below).
The NHS provides information on each of the hospitals or clinics on your list so that you can decide which one you would like to use.
This information includes local transport details and whether or not the hospital provides services such as car parking, disabled access, a visitor canteen and shops.
There are also star ratings or performance standards – these are based on the information collected to show how health services are doing in relation to some of the main targets set by the Government for the NHS as well as other broader measures of performance. They include information from surveys of patients and staff, and other measures useful to patients and carers.
Booking your appointment
The way to book your appointment will vary depending on which hospital you choose. This is because it will take time before all hospitals are using the same computer system to manage their patient appointments.
To book your appointment you will need your appointment reference number and your password.
Either your GP or a member of the practice team will give you an appointment request letter. This shows your appointment reference number and the list of hospitals and clinics available for you to choose from. Every appointment has its own reference number.
Before you make your first booking, your GP or one of the practice team will give you a password. This is used to make sure that only you or someone you have chosen to act on your behalf can make or change your booking. Do not keep your password and appointment reference number together, and make sure both are kept in places where others cannot see them.
The different ways to book your appointment are as follows.
You can call the Appointments Line
Use the internet
book your appointment with your GP or a member of the practice team;
call the hospital booking staff at the hospital or clinic you want to use or call at Bakewell Library where staff have been specially trained to help you to access the internet on their computers and to look at options with you. Please ask staff at the surgery regarding this new option.
In some cases you can only check the availability of appointment slots or book your appointment by calling the hospital or clinic directly. This will in no way affect the quality of care you receive.
What happens when my appointment is booked?
Once you have booked your appointment, you will receive:
the details of the hospital or clinic;
the date and time of your appointment; and any special instructions you need to know, such as not taking any food or water before seeing the specialist.
You can also change the date or time of your appointment if you need to.