Patient Choice

The NHS Constitution gives most people living in England the right to choose where to receive treatment.

This also means you can choose the organisation that provides your NHS care when you’re referred for your first appointment with a consultant.

So, if your GP recommends that you see a specialist, you can choose where and when to see them.

For instance, you may wish to choose a service based on whether you can park nearby, be treated sooner, be treated closer to home or near to family or friends or choose a particular consultant.

You can view what choices are currently available to NHS patients in the NHS Choice Framework. This is also where you’ll find information about when you can’t choose, for example, if you need emergency care or if you are a member of the armed forces.

The NHS Choice Framework provides information on the following:

  • choice of GP
  • choosing a hospital or consultant
  • choosing a mental health service
  • choices in maternity services
  • choices in end-of-life care.

Visit the NHS Choice Framework for the full list of choices available and information on whether they are legal rights. You can also find information and support to help you choose.

You can find further information about your choices in the NHS on the NHS Choices website. The NHS Choices website also provides:

For more information, please read our frequently asked questions.

Easy Read leaflets:

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Page last updated 14 March 2024