Patient Choice in the NHS

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Patients have greater choice and control over how they receive their healthcare.

The Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes Integrated Care Board (BLMK ICB) is working hard to improve opportunities for patients to make choices about their care and is making efforts to offer more options to enable you to make choices that best suit your circumstances, giving you greater control of your care, and hopefully better results. You can also choose a clinical team led by a consultant or named healthcare professional, as long as that team provides the treatment you require. You have the legal right to ask for your appointment to be moved to a different provider if you are likely to wait longer than the maximum waiting time specified for your treatment e.g. anyone waiting over 40 weeks and has not attended their elective care first outpatient appointment may be asked by their current provider if they would like to change their healthcare provider. There may be exceptions in some circumstances – for example, if your first outpatient appointment is very soon or it is not clinically appropriate to move care. The Hospital or Integrated Care Board (ICB) will investigate and offer you a range of suitable alternative hospitals or clinics that may be able to see you sooner.

More information about patient choice is available on the Government website – The NHS Choice Framework.

The Framework also explains:

  1. when you have choice about your healthcare
  2. where to get more information to help you choose
  3. how to complain if you are not offered a choice

Accreditation of suppliers for new contracts for elective services

If you are an existing NHS service provider, wish to offer services which fall under the Patient Choice Regulations and are seeking a new contract for services, please contact to obtain the necessary information and next steps.