Health advice

Choosing a hospital or consultant

If you are referred to a specialist, you have the right to choose which hospital or clinic to go to for your outpatients appointments. You are also able to choose which consultant-led team will be in charge of your treatment, as long as that team provides the treatment you require.

Therefore, if you wish to be treated by a particular consultant for a procedure, you can choose to have your outpatient appointments at the hospital where the consultant works, and to be treated by that consultant’s team – but this doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll be seen by the consultant themselves.

This choice is a legal right, if you are not offered a choice at the point of referral, ask your doctor why and say that you wish to go through your options.

You do not have a legal right to choice if:

  • you need urgent or emergency treatment
  • you are serving in the armed forces
  • you are accessing maternity services
  • you are detained under the Mental Health Act
  • you are detained in or on temporary release from prison, in court, an immigration removal centre, or a secure children’s home
  • if you are referred to high security psychiatric services or drug and alcohol misuse services provided by local authorities

How to book your appointment

Once you have decided on a hospital, you could book your first outpatient appointment through the NHS e-Referral Service. This can happen in the following ways:

  • your GP can book it while you’re at the surgery
  • you can book it online using the Appointment Request letter your GP gives you
  • you can phone the NHS e-Referral Service line on 0345 60 88 88 8 (open Monday-Friday, 8am to 8pm and on weekends and bank holidays 8am to 4pm)

There are lots of places that you can access to get general health advice.  NHS Choices has helpful advice on a wide range of health care issues

Healthy eating

We all know that there’s a link between healthy eating and good health. But how much do we really know – and how good are we at making healthy choices?  Click to complete the Healthy eating self- assessment.  At the end, you’ll receive a score and a summary of your results.

5-a-day

The 5-a-day campaign is one of the best known Government health messages, but the average person manages just 3.5 portions per day. Click here to create a weekly 5-a-day meal planner and shopping list in five easy steps. It makes healthy eating simple, with ideas for meals, tasty recipes, cheaper options and top tips.

A-Z of health conditions

Click here to view an interactive body map and browse an A-Z of health conditions and treatment.

Screening and testing

For more information on screening, including a timeline explaining when health tests are due for you and your family click here.

Self-Care Forum Fact Sheets

Self-care Fact Sheets are available for a range of common conditions such as: low back pain, eczema, heartburn/indigestion, children’s fever, constipation, headache/migraine, acne, sprains/strains, and sore throat.

Patient.co.uk

Patient.co.uk is one of the most trusted medical resources online, supplying evidence-based information on a wide range of medical and health topics to patients and health professionals.

Symptom Checker

NHS Choices symptom checker asks you a series of questions before providing advice, such as self-care guidance, or advice to visit a healthcare professional or seek emergency treatment if appropriate.

Pharmacists

Pharmacists are experts in medicines and have the clinical expertise and practical knowledge to supply your medicine and offer advice on how to use it properly. Your local pharmacist also provides a wide range of other services, ranging from general advice on minor ailments, to support to help you stop smoking or manage your weight.