(Last Updated On: April 27, 2021)
Choice of Patients in Selecting the Right Consultant and Hospital
The NHS patients have their own right to make the selection regarding the place from where they want to obtain non-urgent treatment. However, getting some important information might be tricky. They can ask the private doctor in London, GPs, specialist consultants, and other health care experts what is worth knowing.
You will have to be referred for specialist treatment when your GP thinks so. But you might not know that as an NHS patient, you have the suitable choice of who to visit and where to go.
Go through this post to discuss with the GPs and other health experts and know whether you need to undergo further treatment. They will tell what to find out, what they would ignore, and how you can use the information to be more in control of your care. Also, you can discover if there are any coins in choosing your service provider or hospital.
Ask your GP about the choice of the patient
The choice of where the patient should be treated is indeed a legal right for non-urgent treatment that requires a further referral. You may even request a specific consultant-led team.
Your GP may use e-referrals systems that enable you to shortlist hospitals that suit you the best. If you are not ready to take the right decision at your GP’s surgery, you may conduct thorough research at home. You may either login to the system for making a selection or use your research to ask your GP certain questions so they can help you to narrow down the choice.
E-referrals will not be shortlisting the consultants and so if you know the consultant to visit, request your GP to include the request in the referral. There is no assurance that you will be seen by the same consultant, but you may be seen by a member of the team who works under them.
Being a private patient, you should be given the choice wherever you stay, but you might be restricted by the approved list of providers used by your health insurer.
Conduct thorough research for your doctor or hospital
You need to seek advice from the experts and give emphasis on key factors when selected where to get treated for non-urgent procedures. These include – the consultant who will perform the treatment, the location, safety, and waiting time.
- Hospital location – The location is the most important factor when choosing by using the NHS. When it is close to your house, this means you are near to your family and friends who can look after you.
- Select a consultant – If your major concern is which consultant to choose, you can get proper information about them on the website of the society or registry for their specialty that includes – the National Joint Registry (NJR) or Society for Cardiothoracic Surgery (SCTS).
One aspect to consider is how many operations a consultant has already performed. As per the research, there is a correlation between the number of surgeries done each year and the complications treated.
- Waiting times – As per the stats, it can be quite disheartening as the referral for treatment timing can exceed 18 weeks. However, these figures are at a department than operation-specific, level and are often obsolete. The waiting time might be less and you can try calling up the hospital to know if they have the latest information.
- Safety records – The hospitals and other health premises will be inspected by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) or other health regulators.
According to experts, they will feel hesitant in selecting a hospital that requires improvement, but it is worth finding out where the hospital is located as it might not be in an area for your treatment.
Check the review of experts and patients
The health experts have emphasized the importance of a well-run department. A good way to know about it is to consult the NHS Staff Survey for asking how likely the staff would recommend their hospital to someone when they need proper care and treatment.
Different websites are there for patient review that can help to create a picture of the hospitals and consultants. These are some of them that might be worth checking:
- co. Uk collects the reviews of patients on hospitals and private consultants
- com collects peer reviews from other doctors
- org and Careopinion.org.uk (also to be found on NHS.uk) consist of NHS reviews of consultants, hospitals and departments.
Why you should give importance to your right to choose
The concept behind the choice of the patient had been introduced in the year 2006 when competition improves standards. When choosing a different hospital, this will mean a better or convenient treatment facility. But there are certain things to consider before you may determine your right to choose.
- In case you have had analyzed tests with the help of local services, remaining to stay local will make the treatment quicker than other hospitals as they might not be able to access your test results and so, you will have to repeat them.
- When you need to go outside the local area, this might end up costing more to the NHS more as there will probably be agreed on prices in place between the local hospitals and local commissioning services (CCGs) that won’t apply further.
- The data available for you to select might be tricky to navigate and quite overwhelming thus, leading to a ‘paradox of choice’ that can make you struggle to work out the best option.
Thus, you should not feel obliged when evaluating the data and browsing through different websites in case you do not want to do so. It is the prime responsibility of regulatory health bodies to review data and ensure any hospitals or individual consultants who perform poorly get identified so that action can be taken immediately. You may schedule a private GP clinic appointment near me so that you can get yourself treated in your area.