New NHS Systems


Choose and book
In the Anaphylaxis Campaign’s most recent journal they reported on the new NHS Choose and Book service which, hopefully, should allow allergic patients to access specialist allergy care rather more easily than they have been able to up till now. This is the way it is meant to work:

When you and your GP agree that you need to see a specialist you will be able to choose the date and time of your appointment at one of at least four hospitals or clinics; these should include paediatric centres in local hospitals that have classified themselves as offering a paediatric allergy service.

If no allergy service is available locally, or if the patient does not want to go to the local hospital, the GP can offer the extended choice option which accesses another list of specialist units, which can be anywhere in the country.

Some patients will be able to be handled at primary and secondary care level but some, especially those with a history suggestive of anaphylactic reaction, would need referral to a unit offering specialist care.

If a patient has not had a referral for a number of years, or if they feel that the service they originally received was inadequate, they can seek a new referral.
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Alternatively contact the Anaphylaxis Campaign helpline on 01252 542049

New complaints system

Health officials have unveiled a new system, to be trialled from April this year before being rolled out nationally next year, which they say will make it easier for patients to complain when things go wrong.

The current complaints system can go through three stages – local resolution, investigation by the Healthcare Commission and then by the Health Service Ombudsman - while there are four stages for dealing with social care complaints.

The new system will focus on resolving complaints locally, followed by an investigation by the health or local government ombudsman. The system will also give people the option of complaining to their primary care trust about their GP instead of complaining directly to the practice concerned.

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First published in June 2008

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