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I went to the doctor last week and he decided to refer me to a consultant. As I sat there in his office he rang a colleague elsewhere in the building and told her that 'we need to do a choose and book'. And that was the end of my involvement in the process, except to sit in the waiting until the colleague presented me with a print out with the date, time and place for my consultation.

Now I'm wondering if I have fully participated in this process. I rang today to ask the colleague if I could go over the process, and established:

1) I can't access the full range of 'choose and book' options via the internet, to do that I need access to the NHS intranet

2) the default choice for referrals is the Whittington, because it is within the same trust and therefore less expensive than a referral elsewhere

3) No, I can't go in and look at the options, because the lady involved is very busy

Now from a purely selfish point of view I'm wondering should I make a fuss and demand my choice. If I had been offered the choice at the outset maybe I could have found an appointment quicker than the 5 weeks which I was offered. Maybe I could have spotted a difference between the available consultants which might have pointed me to one or another. Maybe I'd have been quite happy with the Whittington in 5 weeks, which just at the moment I have a nagging doubt I might not be. I'm definitely not happy with being put off because the lady is busy - I'm ill and I need seeing to, though I guess if my insistence on exploring remote possibilities means some other sick person suffers a delay, I might be considered selfish. 

Does any one else have experience of this process.

Tags: Book, Choose, NHS, and

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