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At the heart of general practice since 1960

... or embrace and evolve it?

From Dr Graham Croker, Waterlooville, Hampshire

As a GP in a two-handed practice near Portsmouth, I have been a Choose and Book user for as long as it has been available in our area.I was involved in modernising the booking of referrals prior to the electronic solution.

I feel your campaign indicating that Choose and Book is an expensive white elephant loses sight of the fact that prior to modernisation of the booking system there would often be vast differences in availability of services that were not clear to the GP or the patient.

During the path of Choose and Book I, like my colleagues, have been frustrated by the execution of the IT solution.

But I believe that with its ongoing and increasing use it is becoming the de facto solution for booking a hospital appointment.

Although choice was put as a low priority by patients in the recent access survey by the Healthcare Commission, no reflection was made on the actual picking process – which, from my experiences with my patients, suggests a high level of satisfaction as they feel that they at least have some say.

I am sure there will be further improvement and better integration with the GP clinical systems. I, for one, welcome an IT solution for picking patients' appointments and would encourage further development and uptake of it.

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