NHS-- Choose and Book

  spuds 13:39 05 Jul 08
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I am not sure if this is a trial scheme in selected areas, or whether it is nationwide and in full operation.

Having seen my GP recently, it was decided that I required two hospital consultations with different departments. The GP then went ahead and explained the 'new' initiative and procedures of booking and arranging your own appointments via internet, telephone or textphone. The GP then produced via his computer keyboard all the relevant details, including security passwords and username. The GP then stated that the referral details would be completed and sent. Sounds very good thought I, progress and 21st century in the making.

Got home and read the necessary documents, waited a couple of days, then connected to the NHS Choose and Book website. I provided details and brilliant soon in progress mode, I was given various choices of appointment times and dates. Went ahead a booked the vacant dates and times suitable to me, and received a confirmation that these appointments had been made and confirmed. But it also stated that I was to await written confirmation from the hospital before making an attendance!.

Everything seemed fine, except for a few minor things (as can be expected perhaps). On the day before I was due to attend the hospital, no written confirmations had been received. A couple of telephone calls and back to the GP. Further investigations, and it appears that no one knows what as happened.So re-bookings have now been made for a months time (but I can change these, if I use Choose and Book).

Am I being cynical. Or is this same thing happening in your area.A brilliant scheme that seems to have mystery failures!.

Don't get me wrong. I think the NHS is a great institution - but.

  Clapton is God 14:54 05 Jul 08

I had to use this service (in West Sussex) about a month ago to see a consultant.

My GP gave me a choice of hospitals and dates. I chose the one best for me and toddled off armed with a URL, a booking reference and a PIN.

Next day I made the appointment online without problem (although the waiting time was nearer 4 weeks rather than the 10 days hinted at by my GP).

A couple of weeks later, written confirmation arrived from the hospital.

Last week I duly turned up at the hospital on the appointed day and time and, lo and behold, they were expecting me.

The system worked OK for me. ;-))

  spuds 16:13 05 Jul 08

Methinks it was the GP - Referral notes comes to mind!.

Then again, no one seemed to know how long it takes to go through the hospital admin procedure. Two weeks seems about right, but why give vacant appointment dates, less than that!.

Not complaining, just curious.

  day2strike 22:57 05 Jul 08

Choose and Book is part of the National Program for IT (NPfIT).
Over budget & sadly not working in my area, even though my GP is wired up.
Seems the local NHSTrust is still waiting, but told it should be by 2010!!!!

  josie mayhem 23:07 05 Jul 08

We have it in my area, the idea is good, but it can and does cause problems...

My experience wasn't a good one at all, but I do suspect there were other spanner at work long story..

But with saying that others including my hubby who have used the system, found it to be good...

Another but in our area, is that you don't leave the doctors surgery with password, pin number ect... they still do the old fashioned way of sending your refferal to the hospital who then send you the details to book!!!

  spuds 23:59 05 Jul 08

When the GP explained the system to me, it seemed to be suggested that the referral would be sent on-line via an approved arranged form.Possibly taking the GP no longer than a couple of days at the very most. This would cut out any hand delivery risk, and possibilities of being misplaced.

In fact we were both able to take print-outs of the arrangements during GP consultation, and my 'confirmed' booking a couple of days later.It was only on the day before the actual arranged appointment, and no actual written confirmation had been delivered,that alarm bells began to ring.

Personally I think the system is brilliant,or will be, if it works right.Due to whatever as gone wrong (in my case), it as put the appointments back by about one month. Trying to combine two appointments at the same hospital in different departments on the same day (2/3 hours between each appointment) as made it even more difficult. The appointments availability, seemed to only extend on a span of 4 to 6 weeks anyway.

As I have said, I am not complaining just curious, on how this scheme is working perhaps in apparently other selected areas.

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