HEALTH AND CARE: Introducing the patient choice navigators
Did you know that you have a choice when it comes to where you are referred for treatment?
The NHS Constitution sets out when you have a legal right to choice about your treatment and care in the NHS.
Although the legal right to choice doesn’t apply to all healthcare services (for example it doesn’t cover some cancer services and specialist services), it is very important that people know they have a choice for the majority of NHS care.
Once you have had a discussion with your doctor about what treatment is right for you, you then have the right (in the majority of cases) to choose where you go for that treatment.
You have the right to choose which hospital you are referred to, choosing from any hospital or NHS service offering the appropriate treatment that meets NHS standards and costs.
We appreciate that this is a personal decision, and your personal needs and circumstances may make a big difference in deciding where you are referred.
It can also often be a confusing and difficult decision because you don’t automatically know where you could go for treatment and what your options are.
The CCG has agreed a new service to help people to make these decisions – the patient choice navigators.
After you have seen your GP and together you have agreed that you need to be referred for specialist treatment, your GP practice will forward your referral to the team of patient choice navigators who can help you to make an informed choice.
Your GP will give you a booking card and a telephone number for you to contact the team, and you then contact them five days after seeing your GP and they can work with you to book your appointment.
The team will talk with you about your options in terms of where you can go for treatment and discuss with you what is important, for example current waiting times, being close to home, being close to family, or how you can get there.
The navigators will then book your appointment with your agreed hospital or community service.
Importantly, information will only be shared when you have agreed with your GP that a referral is the best course of action and you are happy for your details to be passed to the navigators.
We hope that this will help people to understand the choices that they can make in terms of their treatment and help people to make informed choices about their care.
Find out more about your rights and the patient choice navigators visit www.coastalwestsussexccg.nhs.uk/your-choices
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