Calling it the 'gateway to navigate the NHS services', UK 's Health Minister Patricia Hewitt launched a website that is designed to give patients the choice to select their hospital and doctor, as well as access information on anything related to health.
Says Hewitt: "We are determined to put patients at the heart of the NHS and making sure patients can access and share information about health services is a crucial part of that. "Patients will soon be able to choose, with the click of a button, where they want to have their treatment. Our new choice website will allow the public and clinicians to access a range of information through one super site that will act as a gateway to navigate NHS services.
"Patient choice is about people being in control. Patients needing a hospital appointment should have the right to pick and choose their time, date and place.
"To make this happen, we need to invest in facilities to help patients take control. Using public libraries and the Internet is an ideal way to support patients, families and caregivers with information."
Accordingly, even persons from disadvantaged communities can make use of the super website called 'NHS Choices', from any local library, where they will be guided by librarians.
NHS Choices is also said to include information such as searchable comprehensive directories on hospitals, GPs and care homes; comparative data on hospital waiting times, cleanliness and readmission rates; and access to a vast library of approved medical literature, previously only available to clinicians. It will also provide multimedia guides on common procedures, detailed guides on living with long-term conditions such as diabetes, and a facility for patients to directly comment and give feedback on particular hospitals.
This move is slated to help all UK National Health Service patients make choices about their healthcare and allow them to slot services around their needs and background.