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Appointment booking

What is Choose and Book?

If you have been referred by your GP for an appointment with a healthcare provider, you may be able to book your appointment with Choose and Book. Most services are available via Choose and Book. You can choose the date and time of your appointment and your GP may be able to book your appointment there and then.

However, you have the right to think about your choices, compare different options and book your appointment at a later stage. If so, you’ll be given an appointment request letter, which includes your unique booking reference number, NHS Number and a list of hospitals or clinics to choose from. In addition you'll be given a password, which allows you to book your appointment via Choose and Book either over the phone using The Appointments Line 0345 6088888 or log in to Choose and Book online.

Choose and Book will also give you the ability to:


  • plan and manage your appointments around any existing appointments, if you are currently undergoing treatment
  • fit your treatment in with your other commitments, at home and at work
  • choose appointments that fit with your carer's schedule
  • check the status of your referral and change or cancel your appointments easily, either over the phone or online

Speak to your GP about your choices and read the section about choosing a hospital for more advice.

More than 90% of healthcare providers allow you to book your appointment through Choose and Book online or via The Appointments Line. Where this is not possible, this will be indicated on your Appointment Request letter by a picture of a phone next to the relevant provider. You or your GP will then have to book directly with the hospital or service using the phone number indicated on the letter. 

More information about how to use Choose and Book can be found in the FAQ section. If you can’t find the answer to your particular question in the FAQ section, or you want to raise any concerns, you can contact Choose and Book:

  • via The Appointments Line (TAL) Customer Services line on 01908 774 663 (Monday to Friday 9am-5pm, excluding bank holidays).
  • via email:


The 9 comments posted are personal views. Any information they give has not been checked and may not be accurate.

Annette Punter said on 20 May 2015

All I have been trying to do is book an appointment via Internet
Rubbish! I therefore will waste more time by telephoning which I should have done in the first place!

Annette Punter

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Maggie E said on 16 May 2015

Somebody needs to sort this on line appt system! I had a telephone call from ??? The appointments line telling my appt had been moved forward from July 8th to April 29th.

This morning May 16th, I recieved a letter from The Appointments line, reminding me to rebook my appt!! Two weeks after I already attended, what is going on? Is there no communication

The left half need to know what the right half is doing....what a waste of time and resources. No wonder the NHS is going to the dogs. Sort it out.

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lesleyW said on 15 May 2015

Choose and Book. My GP practice told me that they had purchased a computer system that didn't interface with C&B. I pointed out that NHS Choices said it was a legal right to choose your own hospital. They said it was a lot of paperwork, but went ahead and did it - it was an enormous amount of paperwork. The second time (different problem) after visiting GP and getting a referral from a 'learner' doctor, I phoned to find out by when I should expect paperwork, to find that a secretary was "trying to access the C&B as we speak". Then the C&B paperwork turned up, complete with password. I'm very pleased that NHS Choices states its a legal right - otherwise I would have been put off by their difficulties.

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Julie AK said on 11 May 2015

The choose and book service can only offer choice if all comparable data and information is available to the patient. How can I make a choice between a rheumatology clinic and a foot and ankle clinic if I am not sure what my condition is nor if there is no information on the services provided at each? Also, why give hospital choices, in my case 5 of them, when only 2 are able to offer appointments?!
Another issue is keep your password safe! The letter I received from the hospital with the appointment details does not have either your booking reference on it nor does it have your password, nor does it say you need to refer to the original form. You need to refer to the initial bit of paper, the appointment request form, to change your appointment. Another sticking point is when you do change appointments, they refer you to an appointment at whoever is available regardless of the clinical service you need! I needed to change an appointment for paediatric rheumatology, the appointment line had the details, yet was going to give me an appointment for a physiotherapist! When I pointed out that wasn't the service required as it was a different clinic, I got a snotty retort that I didn't specify the consultant..I didn't have to, the details of the original appointment were on screen in front of them! Tip #4 always refer to the clinic you want, not the one they wish to send you to. Rude, lazy and incompetent..but this is the reality of the NHS business model.

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amg888 said on 02 May 2015

Appointments for the NHS service to which I have been referred can't be booked via this Choose and Book system (I was told that at the time). When I made the appointment direct with the clinic I was told "not to worry if I received a letter from Choose and Book asking me to make the appointment....and just to ignore it' . I did indeed receive such a letter and I did indeed ignore it (I have since been to the clinic), but today I've had another letter from The Appointments Line reminding me to make the appointment. So Choose and Book are reminding me to make an appointment , for which I can't actually use their system....and which I have already made and attended anyway. Is this wasteful? I think it might be!! OK it might only be the cost of holding a bit of date and sending out 2 letters in the post - but every little helps!I've written to The Appointments Line to ask them for an explanation.

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JapHarNav said on 27 April 2015

What a total waste of time this Booking service is ,
I almost tried every single browser i.e google Chrome , Mozilla firefox and internet explorer but this service does not support any of them.
The link never opens.
I ended up having to call on the helpline number to get the appointment booked.

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zia14 said on 26 April 2015

Choose and Book is not working as I was given no information about it, and sent a print out from the surgery some days after my GP appointment. While I was at the surgery I was asked which of just 2 hospitals I wished to go to. Neither would have been a choice I would make.

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NYC01 said on 14 April 2015

I have found the choose and book system to be a complete waste of time. I initially tried to book on the phone only to be told no appointments had been released to the Appointments Centre by the hospital my GP had referred me to. They said they would send my details to the hospital. After waiting and hearing nothing I contacted the hospital direct and was told again no appointments had been released. Eventually I received an appointment through the post only to receive a cancellation letter for the said appointment the next day. I rang the appointments line again to be told I am on a waiting list, how long they didn't know and I would be contacted in due course. I returned to my GP who booked me an appointment in a different hospital whilst I was in the surgey which has now been cancelled, this time after 2 weeks. Upon ringing the appointment line again I was told the appointment "was meant for someone else" and had been cancelled. I am now on their waiting list wondering how the appointment was "meant for someone else" if it was there for my GP to book.

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jonnyg said on 10 April 2015

This website is very hard to use why is this so the dvla website you put your ref number in and hey presto your where you need to be unlike this site nightmare going on phone now.

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Page last reviewed: 27/03/2015

Next review due: 27/03/2017

Choose and Book unavailable

Choose and Book will be replaced with the new NHS e-Referral Service over the weekend of Friday June 12 to Monday June 15 2015. You are advised not to start booking or changing any appointments after 6pm on Friday June 12 as the system will be switched off at 7pm. The new service will be available on the morning of Monday June 15 2015.


Book your appointment online now


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