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When you and your doctor agree that you need an appointment with a specialist, a system known as ‘Choose and Book’ will be used which shows your doctor which hospitals or clinics are available for your treatment. Your doctor will discuss with you the clinically appropriate options which are available for treating your medical condition. (Please note: in order to provide the fastest possible transmission method, referral information may be sent electronically via the NHS Spine (a private, secure and confidential NHS internet). However, if you do not wish this electronic method to be used you can advise the practice accordingly and your referral will be sent in the post.)
If you have already decided where and when you would like to be seen, you may be able to book your appointment before you leave the surgery. You will be given confirmation of the place, date and time of your appointment.
On the other hand, you may want more time to consider your choices. If so, you can take the appointment request letter away with you and book your appointment later.
In some cases you will need to telephone your chosen hospital directly to make your appointment. This is because that hospital’s computer does not link to Choose and Book. This will, however, change over time as the old hospital computers are replaced with new ones.
Full details about ‘Choose and Book’ are available at Choose and Book NHS UK where there is a specific link for patients. If you experience problems with the ‘Choose and Book’ system or wish to discuss its role further please contact the Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) at the John Radcliffe Hospital on 01865 221473.
View guidance on what to expect when you are referred by your GP to see a
specialist (or therapist) by viewing our You have been referred to see a specialist leaflet.