Patient choice

Choosing your hospital or service

Patient ChoiceIf your GP needs to refer you for a physical or mental health condition, in most cases you have a legal right to choose which hospital or service you go to, which includes many private and NHS hospitals that provide services to the NHS.

You may also choose your clinical team led by a consultant or named healthcare professional.

GP surgeries tend to refer to local hospitals and services, however, if you want to be referred somewhere else in the country or if you want your doctor to see if there is another hospital that can see you more quickly, ask your GP. If your GP thinks there is a clinical reason why you shouldn’t go somewhere else, they will tell you.

You can choose a hospital or service based on whatever matters most to you – this could include waiting times, quality of service, your previous experience, the opinions of other patients, the location or your GP’s recommendation.

The Choosing your hospital or service leaflet talks about some of the frequently asked questions that people have about choosing where to be referred to. 

More information about Patient Choice is availabe on the NHS Choices website here.