Did you know you have the right to choose where to have your NHS surgery?
If you or a loved one needs to see an NHS specialist, you can choose to access any hospital or treatment centre in England. You could even switch hospitals, having already been referred somewhere, if you are waiting for too long. This is a legal right for NHS patients.
We know that making an informed decision, and the right choice for your individual needs, is important to you and your recovery, so we want to help as much as possible.
Below you will find answers to some of the questions you might be asking yourself…
Is my treatment still free, regardless of where I choose?
Your right to choice has nothing to do with cost; if you are an NHS patient who has been referred for treatment by your GP then you are not required to pay. Care UK hospitals are managed on behalf of the NHS, so you are free to select one of our hospitals as your service of choice.
Why do I have to choose?
You don’t have to make the decision alone, and can consult with your GP who will help, but choosing where to have your surgery can be an important element of your treatment and recovery.
Clinicians and researchers agree that if you choose a hospital in which you feel comfortable and confident, you are likely to improve both the result of your treatment and your experience while you’re in hospital.
What should I base my decision on?
There are various aspects that will affect your decision, some of which are very personal; only you will know exactly what matters most to you. Considering the simpler things like how easy it will be to get to your chosen hospital, whether they have free parking and what the facilities are like can be a good place to start.
It is also a good idea to check how long the wait is, as this can vary quite dramatically from hospital to hospital. None of us like to wait, and leaving it too long before having your treatment can be detrimental to your recovery.
Other things that you should investigate are clinical outcomes (including infection rates and recovery support) and Care Quality Commission (CQC) ratings, as well as feedback from previous patients on the NHS website.
Where do I find the information I need?
There is a wealth of material available to help you make your decision, particularly on the internet. Each Care UK hospital has its own website, which gives you all the necessary information about that specific service.
For extra support and information on how to exercise your right to choose, visit the NHS website.
Otherwise, speak to your GP and ask to be referred to Shepton Mallet NHS Treatment Centre.