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Choose and Book library pilot to be extended

By Steve Nowottny

Thousands of libraries are being urged to help patients use Choose and Book in a bid to boost the Government's newly extended Choice agenda.

The move follows a successful trial in pilot areas last year, where patients were given access to library computers to enable them to make an informed choice over which hospital they wanted to be referred to.

An independent evaluation of the pilot has now been completed and is due to be published by Loughborough University.

The wider rollout comes as the Government seeks to extend its choice agenda with the introduction of free choice. From this month, patients will be able to use Choose and Book to book an appointment at any hospital in the country.

Meanwhile the recent pharmacy white paper suggested community pharmacists could be given access to Choose and Book as they begin to offer more clinical services.

Dr Evan James, a GP in Walthamstow in north east London, backed the library partnership.

‘I think they certainly could provide long-term value to patients and GPs by making medical advice information available and providing internet access,' he said.

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