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Patient Choice Schemes

Volume 487: debated on Thursday 29 January 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment he has made of the merits of reducing the scope of Choose and Book to operate only as an electronic booking service. (252283)

The Department has not considered and has no plans to reduce the scope of choose and book.

The choose and book system has been designed to support patients and general practitioners. It is a big step towards giving patients greater involvement in the decisions about their treatment and is a tool to support patient choice—helping them shape for themselves the services that are on offer. It also helps general practitioners (GPs) navigate through the increasing array of choices that national health service patients can make.

“The NHS Constitution” published on 21 January 2009, gives patients the right to make choices about their NHS care and to information to support these choices. A copy has already been placed in the Library. Primary care trusts must ensure that choices are available and the necessary systems are in place to offer and support choice and to enable booked appointments to be made.