Can I choose who treats me within the NHS?

In the NHS you have the right to choose:

  • Your GP practice.
  • The hospital to which you are referred.
  • The consultant who treats you (although it may be a member of his/her team).
  • Which pharmacy you collect your prescription from.
  • Which optician or dentist you go to.

Sometimes your choice may be limited by what is available in your area and by practicalities. In an emergency you will not be able to choose which hospital the ambulance takes you to. Your chosen GP may not have the space to take you on, or there may not be an appointment with your preferred GP or specialist. Within the bounds of what is practical, however, the NHS tries to give you what you choose.