‘Choose and Book’ in ENT: the GP perspective
Objectives: ‘Choose and Book’ is a UK government initiative devised to allow a greater freedom of choice for National Health Service patients. The system is designed to give patients a choice of hospitals and appointment times, as well as giving their general practitioner (GP) more responsibility for appropriate prioritization. We set out to determine the attitudes of UK GPs to the new Choose and Book project and to assess the impact that these changes are likely to have on ENT practice.
Design: Postal questionnaire survey.
Methods: Five hundred GPs were sent a questionnaire about the planned Choose and Book referral project.
Results: Three hundred and eighty GPs (76 per cent) replied to the questionnaire after reminders were sent. Most were aware of the project and had been sent information about it. Of those who had heard of it, 61.5 per cent did not think it was a good thing. Most stated that both they and their patients were satisfied with current prioritization practices. Many GPs would be willing to delegate responsibility for prioritization to non-clinical staff. Important time and responsibility issues were identified.
Conclusions: The majority of GPs were not in favour of Choose and Book. Many cited difficulties with time constraints and an inflexible system as factors that made Choose and Book unacceptable.(Accepted August 18 2005)
Key Words: Primary Health Care; Referral and Consultation; Otolaryngology; Great Britain.
c1 Address for correspondence: David D Pothier, Specialist Registrar in Otolaryngology, Gloucestershire Royal Hospital, Great Western Road, Gloucester GL1 3NN, UK. Fax: +44 (0)8454 226432 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org