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Independents' Day

Choose and Book upgrade allows 'free choice' referrals

By Steve Nowottny

GPs using Choose and Book can now refer patients to hospitals anywhere in the country, after an upgrade to the controversial booking system was finally launched this week.

The Department of Health's flagship ‘free choice' initiative officially began at the start of April - but a delay to the rollout of Choose and Book version 4.0 meant referrals outside a PCT had to be done manually.

The delay came after a software glitch caused at least 200 patients to receive incorrect appointment information. But Connecting for Health said the issue had now been resolved and patient safety had not been compromised.

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