Posted by: John | September 30, 2009

The NHS’s `NHS NOT choose and NOT book service`

I only ask because I’ve tried to use this service.

It’s a complete farce that pretends to offer choice yet is simply a bureaucratic hurdle to try and make an appointment.

Instead of the GP contacting the hospital and them sending you a letter he contacts the NHS and they send you a letter giving you a list of hospitals saying you can choose one of a list of five.

So you ring up and ask for an appointment at the one you want (and the list I was given there is only really one I want – it’s the obvious one for the area). `Oh no` comes the reply `They haven’t any appointments available but what I’ll do is make sure they send you a letter with an appointment – the letter will come in two weeks time`.

I then say `what about the other hospitals?` The reply: `No it’s all the same, they’d have to send you a letter with an appointment`.

So, a completely pointless bit of new labour engineering – insteadĀ  of the GP or his/her staff sorting out the appointment with the hospital and agreeing it with me – or even me calling the hospital and arranging an appointment myself – there has to be this elaborate bureaucracy of `choose and book` or rather `not choose and not book`

No wonder people are seeing through new Labour’s smoke and mirrors.

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Responses

  1. No Kidding.

    It’s a bad idea, poorly implemented – from appointments for pregnancy scans and tests that are after the due date, to only working in Internet Explorer to the way that almost all appointments will fail and require a slower and more cumbersome process than if you did it directly or with your GP.

    The whole thing is a complete waste of time, part of the “an uninformed and un-necessary choice is always better” myth that the Tories and some Libertarians seem to fixate on.

    For almost all the country, outside the center of a handful of large cities, there is only one practical hospital : the nearest, as the next nearest will likely be several (more) hours (or days) away.

    Much as I don’t know which brand of surgical scrub, or what type of forceps are going to be used, 99% of us have neither the information or nor inclination to “make a choice” about almost all medical stuff when it comes to hospitals.

    As far as I can tell, it all boils down to having a good GP, who is a single point of contact, who knows your medical history, knows local facilities and expertise and knows national facilities and experts.

  2. […] More news from the NHS `not choose and not book` service 13 10 2009 You may remember a post I published regarding this service. […]


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