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Your ‘legal right to choose’

Introducing the six areas where we all have a legal right to choose when it comes to our healthcare.
A picture of a lady smiling with other people in the background in what looks like a care home day room.

There are some things that we really want to have a choice about when it comes to our healthcare.

Did you know that there are six areas where you have a legal right to choose?

  1. Which GP and GP Practice you register with for your care
  2. Where to go for your first outpatient appointment, for both physical and mental health
  3. The right to ask to change your provider (usually a hospital) if you have to wait longer than the national waiting time standards (18 weeks, or 2 weeks to see a Specialist for cancer)
  4. Who carries out your specialist tests when you are referred by your GP
  5. To have a personal health budget if you are eligible
  6. Choice to access treatment in another European Economic Area Country (subject to Brexit decisions)

Your first choice might not be available within the timescales that you need treatment, or your GP practice may be full, but your local Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) has a duty to support you in making alternative choices.

Other areas where there is no legal right, but choice may be available to you include:

  • Maternity services
  • Community services
  • Taking part in health research where appropriate research is happening
  • Where you want to receive your palliative and end of life care

Here is a short animation which explains more about choice and how it works.

This is an additional video, hosted on YouTube.

Were there any legal rights that surprised you? Let us know in the comments below.

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