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Your Choice

Our Choice Commitments

 Universal Personalised Care explains how you can now have a level of choice and control over your mental and physical health based upon ‘what matters’ to you rather than ‘what is the matter with you’. It will help you to understand your health choices and will give you a voice that will be heard.

We are committed to offering meaningful choice to all people. As a clinical commissioning group (CCG) we have a duty to enable you to make choices, and to promote your involvement in decisions in respect of your care or treatment.

For choice to be meaningful, all people using health services commissioned by the CCG should be able to say:

  • I have discussed with my GP/health care professional the different options, pros and cons including, where appropriate, whether to have treatment as part of a shared decision making conversation.
  • Following agreement to progress my care, I was offered choice of where to go for my first outpatient appointment or diagnostic test, as appropriate.
  • I was given an opportunity to choose a suitable alternative provider when I was going to wait longer than the maximum time specified in my legal rights.
  • Information to help me make my decisions was available and I knew where to find it in a format that was accessible to me.
  • I was given sufficient time to consider what was right for me.

When offered meaningful choice, you can:

  • Select treatment and services that better meet your needs and preferences
  • Have an improved experience of care
  • Feel supported and empowered to make informed choices based on what is important to you
  • Support providers to offer and improve their services around what matters to you
  • Have the opportunity to explore all care or treatment options, along with an understanding of their risks and benefits

We will do this by ensuring we meet the commitments in The NHS Choice Framework, which sets out the choices available to you as a patient in the NHS in England; and where there are exclusions.

The framework explains:

  • when you have choices about your health care
  • where to get more information to help you choose
  • how to complain if you are not offered a choice

 

In some circumstances there is a legal right to choice, and you must be given these choices by law. In other circumstances there is not a legal right to choice, but we are committed to you being offered choice about your care, based on what is available locally.

The choices available to you are:

  • Choice of GP and GP practice (unless there are reasonable grounds to refuse in which case you will be informed of those reasons) Details of your nearest GP practice can be found by clicking here.
  • Choice of where to go for your first outpatient appointment
  • Right to ask to change hospital if you have to wait longer than the maximum waiting times (18 weeks, or two weeks to see a specialist for cancer)
  • Choice of who carries out a specialist test
  • Choice of maternity services
  • Choice of community services
  • Choice to take part in health research
  • Choice to have a personal health budget
  • Choice to access required treatment in another European Economic Area country.

 

Feedback, queries or complaints

If you have had a positive or negative experience or feel your choices and options were not explained clearly, please let us know. This information helps us to review services and can help other people when they are making their choices.

If you do not feel that you have been offered the choices outlined in this statement, in most cases it might be helpful to speak to the health care professional responsible for your treatment in the first instance. However, if you do not feel comfortable doing this or if you are unsatisfied with the outcome of this conversation, you may wish to discuss your situation/complaint further with our Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALs).

Also details of how to contact NHS England or NHS Improvement are set out in Section 13 of The NHS Choice Framework.

Further information and support available to our patients / referrers

There are lots of places where you can find information when making decisions about care and treatment:

  • The ‘Find A’ section of our website where you can find lots more information about our services
  • The NHS Long Term Plan has been drawn up by frontline staff, patient groups and national experts to provide the long-term goals to improve care quality and outcomes and prevent health inequalities by placing the patient at the centre of the care they receive.  
  • Universal Personalised Care explains how you can now have a level of choice and control over your mental and physical health based upon ‘what matters’ to you rather than ‘what is the matter with you’. It will help you to understand your health choices and will give you a voice that will be heard.
  • The NHS.uk website can help you when making important health decisions, including which GP surgery you register with and which hospital you attend for treatment. It provides tools and resources that help you look at your options and make the right decision.
  • The My NHS website allows you to compare health and care services, including hospitals, GP practices and consultant surgeons, helping you to choose.
  • Information is available on the NHS England patient choice webpages, including a patient leaflet to help you to understand the choices available to you. The NHS Constitution tells you what you can and should expect when using the NHS. The NHS Constitution is also available in an Easy Read version for download. Audio and Braille versions are available on request.  
  • The Care Quality Commission checks many care organisations in England to ensure they are meeting national standards and then shares its findings with the public. You can also call its National Customer Service Centre: Tel: 03000 616161 (Mon to Fri, 8.30am - 5:30pm).
  • Healthwatch is an independent consumer champion for health and social care in England. It operates as Healthwatch England at national level and as local Healthwatch at local level.
  • Rightcare is a NHS England supported programme committed to delivering the best care by ensuring that you can access the right care in the right place at the right time to ensure that the best possible care is delivered.

The Shared Decision Making Programme is committed to ensuring that people are supported to a) understand the care, treatment and support options available and the risks, benefits and consequences of those options, and b) make a decision about a preferred course of action, based on evidence-based, good quality information and their personal preferences.