'eReferrals' at Len Valley Practice
eReferrals (used to be called 'Choose and Book') is a service that allows you to choose your hospital and book an appointment with a specialist. It was first introduced in Summer 2004 and has slowly been spreading across England. Some patients have already been using this service. NHS research has shown that patients wanted to be more involved in making decisions and choosing their health care. Most patients who were offered a choice of hospital viewed the experience as positive and valuable.
Some of the benefits include the ability to choose the date and time of your appointment as well as choosing your hospital. There is less chance that information will get 'lost in the hospital system' as most of the correspondence takes place through computers.
How does it work?
When you have agreed to see a specialist for the first time, your doctor uses a secure website to enter your details, which then shows which hospitals are available. You can discuss with your GP the appropriate options which are available. In some cases the doctor can book the appointment date and time for you, and you will be given confirmation of the place, date and time of your appointment. As you could appreciate, this does take some time and could lead to delays with the surgery appointments, so in the majority of cases, your doctor will generate an appointment request letter for you to take away with you and book an appointment at a later date.
How to book an appointment
There are different ways to do this, you can:
- Call the eReferrals appointments line on (0845) 60 88 888
- Use the internet and go to page www.nhs.uk/healthspace
Your request letter will have your appointment request number and password on which will help staff find your details more quickly.
Helping make the Choice
The NHS provides information on each of the hospitals on your list so that you can decide which one you would like to use. This information includes local transport details and whether or not the hospital provides services such as car parking, disabled access, a visitor canteen and shops.
There are also star ratings or performance standards, which are based on information collected to show how the health services are doing in relation to targets set by the Government. They also include surveys from patients and staff.
The above contact details for booking your appointment can also give you this information..
Security of information
The eReferrals system has strict security measures in place to make sure your personal information is held and transferred to other people securely. Be assured that clinical information about you is only passed to other people involved in your care.