The NHS Constitution gives people living in England the right to choose where to receive treatment. In most cases, you have the legal right to choose the hospital or service you’d like to go to. This will include many private hospitals, as long as they provide services to the NHS. This means you can choose the organisation that provides your NHS care when you’re referred for your first appointment with a Consultant. If your GP recommends that you see a specialist, you can choose where and when to see them.
If you’re unsure about which hospital or clinic to choose, your GP can advise you on what might be the best choice for you. The “Find and Choose Hospitals” web page is the most sophisticated hospital comparison system in the UK. It allows you to compare hospitals using a wide range of factors, including:
overall quality of service (judged by the regulator)
If you are having difficulty living at home, or think you will find it difficult when you return home to manage every day tasks, such as washing, dressing and cooking, then you may need a home care needs assessment.
Social Services have a legal duty to assess anyone who appears to be in need of support services. This is regardless of the person’s income and savings, or whether the council thinks they will qualify for support. The needs assessment should not cover any financial matters, except to make sure that you are receiving the state benefits you are entitled to.
You should contact your local council Social Services department and ask for a “Needs Assessment” or a “Care Needs Assessment”.
If you are aged 18 or over, with complex, intense and unpredictable healthcare needs, you could qualify for NHS continuing healthcare. NHS clinical commissioning groups, known as CCGs must assess you for NHS continuing healthcare if it seems that you may require it.
Where it is determined that the primary reason for you requiring care is health-based rather than social care needs based, you will be entitled to an ongoing fully-funded package of healthcare. This can be directly arranged by the NHS or you could receive it in the form of a Personal Health Budget, similar to the personal budget for social care.
Although this may sound like a complicated process, there is plenty of help available to help you via the following organisations, many of which are listed in this guide.
Physiotherapy is often a part of your recovery as it is helpful to people with a wide variety of physical and neurological health problems. It is available on the NHS and also widely available privately. Your hospital or GP may refer you for NHS physiotherapy, but you can refer yourself to a physiotherapist privately if you are able to pay for it.
Useful contacts: Chartered Society of Physiotherapy (CSP). This is the governing body of physiotherapists in the UK and via their website you can locate a physiotherapist for private treatment and find out more about how physiotherapy could help you.
Many trauma patients can after discharge from hospital, suffer from mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, or stress. This is common but there a number of different services to help you within the NHS. One of the most effective treatments is called Cognitive Behavioural Therapy or “CBT” which is proven to help with many common health issues. There are various ways of accessing CBT from telephone services, internet based systems and face to face. Your GP should be able to help you choose which is best for you.
IAPT – Improving Access to Psychological Therapy – this service is NHS funded designed to treat common mental health problems that your GP can refer you to.
Telephone or online CBT – Many NHS Trusts have set up online / internet based treatment services such as the IESO service shown in this guide.
You can locate talking therapy and CBT treatment services via the NHS Choices website.
Unfortunately there can sometimes be delays in accessing CBT treatment via the NHS and so some people choose to pay for CBT treatment. If you decide to do this, you can find an appropriately qualified therapist via the British Association of Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapists (BABCP) website: cbtregisteruk.com.