Though it looked a little unstable in its beginnings, the NHS’ ‘Choose and Book’ system finally looks to have caught on with increasing numbers of patients using the electronic booking service to choose their own hospital appointment.
‘NHS Connecting for Health’, the body responsible for implementing the system, claims more than 300 people have made outpatient appointments using the new Choose and Book service since it was introduced just four months ago at Middlestown Medical Centre in Wakefield, West Yorkshire.
Dr Terry Gair, one of the practice’s six GPs, said the service was going down well with patients who are delighted at being able to make an appointment on the day they visit the surgery.
Gair commented, As a practice, we wanted to be involved in Choose and Book and be early adopters and we were keen to have it because we could see how beneficial it could be for us and our patients.
We wanted to ease and smooth our hospital referral process and improve our IT links between our main site and the branch surgeries. The main attraction was being able to give our patients easy access to a hospital booking time.
According to ‘NHS Connecting for Health’, the majority of referrals now being made by the Middlestown practice go through the Choose and Book system.