This is an interesting comment from a Consultant Surgeon on the subject of the NHS system Choose and Book.

While readers of this blog will know that I am a fierce critic of the NHS, I do think that Choose and Book is a system that is great for the patient and their families.  The importance of Choose and Book is twofold, not only does it it begin to make the patient feel and act like a customer, it also makes doctors pull their socks up!  No longer will they get patients referred to them just because they are there at the local hospital, they will have to demonstrate for example, how good they are and how low their infection rate is. However, I am sure that Consultants who do not like the system will go out of their way to sabotage it.

As in the BBC article some NHS Consultants do not like this and tend to use patronising phrases, such as;

How many patients know enough about the health service to make a really informed choice?

Not many, is the answer.  However, not many of us know about the workings of the internal combustion engine, but that does not stop us from doing our research, talking to our friends and reading magazines such as Which to enable us to make an informed choice about buying a car.

This will happen with healthcare too.  There is already information out there such as the work done by Dr Foster and people will still be discussing their referrals with their GPs.

So Nurses for Reform says embrace Chose and Book and remember that your choice of hospital is not restricted to the NHS, you can go to the independent sector too with your NHS funding.