Introduction to "Choose & Ask" at The West Mid
With the implementation of the NHS Connecting for Health programme a new Electronic Booking Service (Choose & Book) will allow GPs and other primary care staff to make initial hospital or clinic outpatient appointments at a convenient time, date and place for their patients. Complete information on Choose & Book can be found here.
Choose & Book completely changes the way the paper-based referral system currently works. It removes the lengthy wait (often weeks) between visiting the GP and receiving an appointment from a hospital. Choose & Book was first implemented in the summer of 2004, and from 1 Jan 2006 all patients are to be offered a choice of at least 4 providers.
West Mid "Choose & Ask"
One of the features of Choose & Book will be to allow GPs and other primary care staff the opportunity to discuss cases electronically with consultants in hospitals, often helping to ensure that patients do actually need a referral and if so are booked into the correct clinic (advice and guidance facility).
Local implementation of the full Choose & Book system is dependent on timetables set by the SHA and is in turn dependent on the IT infrastructure of both primary and secondary care providers. The West Middlesex has decided to offer this facility ahead of full local implemetation of Choose & Book as a service to our primary care colleagues. Click here or the links at the top of the page to access the system.
How does it work?
- Use the links at the top of the page or click here to enter the system.
- You will be taken to a webpage asking for very basic information about who you are and where you work. Only questions from medically qualified staff will be answered.
- You must then choose the specialty at the West Middlesex you wish your question to go to (e.g. Colorectal Surgery, Endocrinology, Orthopaedics etc) and then enter your question.
- Please do not enter patient identifiable information on the form.
- Click on the submit button and follow the instructions.
Your question is posted to a secure database and the consultants within the specialty you have chosen are notified that a question has been posted. A consultant will answer the question and you will then be notified by email that the answer is waiting for you on the website. The email will contain a link for you to click on to get direct access to the answer. We aim to turn around all questions within 48-hrs(2-working days), which is the standard set by Choose & Book.
We have chosen to use this method rather than emailing you the answer directly in order to build up a bank of common questions to provide you with a 'Frequently Asked Questions' facility as well as Choose & Ask.
FAQ & Search Section
Once sufficient questions and answers have been posted we will make the FAQ facility available for browsing and searching, all accessible from this site. The FAQ and search facility will not require any personal information and is freely available to all.