The new NHS computerised booking system is failing to provide the promised level of choice of appointment times, dates and locations, according to a study.
The first ever survey of patients who had used the Choose and Book system, published in the journal BMC Medical Informatics and Decision Making, found that 66% of those asked were not given a choice of date for their outpatient appointment and the same number were not given a choice of appointment time.
The study, by researchers at University College London (UCL), also found that 86% were given a choice of fewer than four hospitals, while 32% reported not being given any choice of hospital at all.
Overall, only one patient reported that they had been offered a choice of four hospitals, appointment date and time.
UCL’s Dr Henry Potts, who oversaw the study, said: “It is clear from these results that these patients were not experiencing the degree of choice that Choose and Book was designed to deliver. This may be only one hospital, with results taken in a transitional period, but we believe this could be typical of the national picture.”
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