As set out in the NHS Constitution, you have a number of choices concerning your care and treatment as a patient.

These choices include:

  • The right to choose your GP surgery, and to be accepted by that practice unless there are reasonable grounds to refuse, in which case you will be informed of those reasons

  • The right to express a preference for using a particular doctor within your GP surgery, and for the surgery to try to comply

  • The right to choose which hospital to go to if your GP refers you to see a specialist as defined in National Guidance

  • The right to be involved in decisions about your healthcare and to be given the information you need to do this.

For a full list of your guaranteed choices within the NHS you can read more about your rights and pledges as a patient.

These aren’t the only choices you can make. There are choices in your lifestyle, decisions about your treatment, and even the way in which you interact with doctors and other health professionals that can all affect your health.

To get the full benefit of the health service it’s essential to give careful consideration to these other choices too.

The NHS Choices website helps patients in this area by providing tools and information. The resources include:

  • Health A-Z – Use the Health A-Z to see the common treatment options for particular conditions and find links to specialist charities and patient groups in each area

  • Map of Medicine – The map of medicine shows the ideal treatment pathway for each condition as agreed by medical experts and enables you to check your options.

  • Medicine Guides – A list of licensed medicines, including side effects. You can search by medicine name via the medicines hub or see a condition-specific list of medicines.

  • Scorecard – Use this tool to compare hospitals according to a range of performance measures and facilities. You can view your results by treatment type.

  • Choose and Book – The online service that allows you to book your own hospital appointments.