Wednesday, 25 July 2007

Choose and Book...the truth at last

Choose and Book is a tool being used by the Department of Health to limit choice and reduce the number of referrals to hospital specialists (see previous posts).

Today's board meeting of the East of England Strategic Health Authority received a report on the implementation of C and B. In the East of England, usage was now only 22% in May (20% in April) against a national target of 80%, and a figure of 29% last year when GPs were being paid extra if they used the system!

The report revealed that there had been "little progress" in recent months,notwithstanding a massive programme of management action to address the issue. There was a telling comment at the end of the report: "Choice and Choose and Book are central to performance management arrangements".

So there you are, C and B is vital to government plans, but it has been resoundingly rejected by those who use the service - the doctors and patients.

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