Your right to choose which hospital you go to
When your GP refers you to a consultant you may choose the hospital.
You may wish to go to the nearest hospital or one with the lowest waiting times, the best feedback, or the most convenient to you.
You can discuss this with your GP, who can give you professional advice based on your medical history or condition and this may also help you choose.
Information about waiting times and quality of services is published in our Board papers here.
Your rights as a patient are set out in the NHS Constitution. Click here to read the constitution in full. It covers how to access local health service, the quality of care you should receive and how to complain when you are unhappy with a service.
What other rights do I have?
If you need to see a consultant or a specialist and you have to wait longer than 18 weeks, you have the right to ask to go to a different hospital. The length of time to see a specialist for cancer is much shorter. This means if you have cancer and cannot see your specialist for two weeks, you have the right to ask to go to a different hospital.
There will be occasions when you are not allowed to change hospital. For example if you choose to wait longer for your treatment to start or it is in your best interest to delay the start of treatment, you cannot change hospital.
Your GP may decide you need a specialist test. You have the right to choose to have this done by anyone – as long as it is a NHS service in England.
Some of the choices you have depend on where you live. This includes certain community services and maternity services. Speak to your GP to find out more.
The organisation which is arranging your treatment is often responsible for offering you these choices.