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Your choices in the NHS


Modern medicine is more a partnership between doctor and patient than ever before. The pages in this section include simple tips to help you get the most out of your local NHS services.

The Choice Framework 2014

The Choice Framework explains when you have a legal right to choice about treatment and care in the NHS. The legal right to choice doesn't apply to all healthcare services, however, where you do not have a legal right to choice you should at least be offered some choices, depending on what’s available locally.


About your choices

Your choices include more than just which GP or hospital to use. You also have choices about your treatment decisions and your everyday lifestyle.

GP choice

Finding a GP surgery that suits you is vital.  Get advice on how to choose the right doctor and make the most of the services they offer.

Hospital choice

You can choose where you go for tests or treatment when referred by your GP. Learn how to compare services and choose the right one for you.

Consultant choice

Find out when you have the right to choose your consultant for your outpatient appointment and what to do if your right to choice was denied.

Treatment choice

Many health conditions can be treated in different ways. Know your options and then choose what's right for you.

Choice in an emergency

Plan ahead and gather all the information you need now so that you can act quickly and efficiently if there's an emergency.

Personal health budgets

Having a personal health budget could make it easier for you to get the NHS care that best suits you. Find out where to get started and how other people managed their personal health budget.

Any Qualified Provider

In April 2012, a range of services opened up to patient choice under the Any Qualified Provider (AQP) scheme. This means you can choose to be treated by the provider that best meets your needs.

Page last reviewed: 17/06/2013

Next review due: 17/06/2015

The NHS Constitution

The Constitution sets out rights to which patients, public and staff are entitled, and pledges which the NHS is committed to achieve

NHS services explained

This section explains the NHS services available in England. Plus advice on how to access each service, including what to do in emergencies

Find health information online

Find out how to obtain reliable and accurate health information online and learn which sites are considered trustworthy.

Get involved

Find out how you can get involved with your local NHS

What does patient choice mean to you?

People talk about choices they have made for their health, in their lifestyle, their NHS treatment and of NHS services.

Media last reviewed: 21/09/2012

Next review due: 21/09/2014

The SDM programme

The SDM programme aims to embed the practice of shared decision making among patients and those who support them