Did you know that if you need to see an NHS specialist you have the right to choose any hospital or treatment centre in England?

This right to choose means that you can decide where to have treatment for most specialities including orthopaedics, ophthalmology and general surgery.

Choosing where to be treated is important as clinicians and researchers agree that if you choose a hospital in which you feel comfortable and confident, you’re likely to improve both the result of your treatment and your experience while you are in hospital.

HMT St Hugh’s Hospital is part of a UK-wide initiative called Choose and Book, which allows patients to select where they would like to receive their treatment at a time that is convenient for them.

Choose and Book offers greater flexibility for patients to select the right healthcare provider for their specific needs. If location or transport is an issue, it’s great to know that you’re able to select a hospital or clinic close to home.

You can also book your appointment at a time to suit you which is ideal if you have to juggle work, childcare or looking after elderly relatives.

What to Choose

When your GP refers you to a specialist for an initial outpatient appointment, you can choose:

  •  the organisation that provides your NHS care and treatment anywhere in England.
  • which consultant-led team will be in charge of your NHS care and treatment.

When and where to choose

Sometimes decisions on where you want to be treated are made there and then in the GP consulting room, so it makes sense to be prepared to ask the right questions.

Some providers have exclusion criteria such as past medical history which may mean you are not suitable for treatment in that hospital or treatment centre. Your GP will be able to advise you of any such criteria.

What can I do if I am not offered a choice?

If you are not offered a choice of hospital, first talk to your GP. If you are still not offered a choice, contact your local Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG). For more information visit www.england.nhs.uk/ccg-details

How to make a Choose and Book appointment

Once you have been referred for treatment by your GP, if it’s convenient, you can book your appointment before you leave the practice. They will send the appointment booking to us electronically and give you a copy of the details. If you need to consult your diary or would like time to consider your options, you will be sent an appointment request letter so you can book an appointment at a later date. As soon as you have attended your appointment , your treatment will proceed from there.

If you have any queries regarding patient referrals please call our Choose and Book team on 01472 251100 and select extension 3307 or 3349.


01472 251 100
ext 3307 or 3349

The benefits of choosing St Hugh’s Hospital

  • Rapid access to our Consultant lead services. 
  • Your Specialist Consultant will personally oversee your treatment from start to finish.
  • Comfortable modern, private facilities, fresh bedding on electronically operated beds with in-room entertainment and en-suite.
  • We aim to deliver a personalised experience, which supports your needs every step of your journey.
  • Our infection control is second to none. We have a rigorous screening process in place which strictly limits infections like MRSA and C Difficile.
  • Free parking for you and your visitors.
  • In-house catering team with great menu choice.
  • All services delivered at St Hugh’s are consultant-led ensuring a high degree of knowledge and experience.
  • There is no additional cost to the NHS when you receive your treatment with us.
  • On-site specialist physiotherapy team.
  • Low waiting times and rapid access to specialists.

IFR (Individual Funding Request)

An individual funding request (IFR) is a request for NHS funding for treatment that is not normally available and one which is only paid by the CCG (Clinical Commission Group) under certain circumstances.

The IFR process is clinically led. This means that a patient needs the support of one of our hospital consultants who makes a case on their behalf but only if the clinician considers there to be clinical grounds of exceptionality for the request.

The IFR applications are taken through a formal triage and where appropriate, referred to a clinically led IFR panel. This is usually held monthly. The IFR panel takes a number of factors into consideration including clinical effectiveness, cost effectiveness, grounds for exceptionality and equality considerations for other similar patients. Getting funding is a tough business and quite often the IFR team request further information before making a final decision. There are no guarantees when applying for IFR funding. Everything depends on the eligibility and exceptionality of the criteria