Choose and Book is an essential feature of the government's much vaunted but massively overspent NHS IT programme Connecting for Health.
Choose and Book is already over budget and behind schedule. It is a hopelessly designed system which is almost universally unpopular with doctors and patients. To date, only 13% of GP referrals to hospital are being made on the system, against a target figure of 80%, and this despite the GPs being given financial inducements to use it. Some 30% of patients who the GPs think they are referring never manage to complete the complicated booking process and are just lost in cyberspace.
Most remarkable of all is the extraordinary cost of he scheme; at present prices, over the 10 year lifetime of the IT contracts it will cost a remarkable £125 to make every patient appointment. That's not the cost of the treatment, that's just the cost of making the appointment.