Choose and Book is a UK hospital appointment central booking system that was introduced through the NHS, as part of an information modernisation project, costing £200m to install in 2005.
Patients say that when it works well, Choose and Book is a great system, allowing them to choose a hospital outpatient appointment from a range of options while sitting with their GP. The patient chooses and receives a letter with a referral number and secure code, which they use online or on the telephone to confirm the appointment via a central booking service. It also allows them to change the time or date of their appointment once they have the UBRN i.e. Unique Booking Reference Number.
The Department of Health (DH) says the system is installed in 94% of GP surgeries and used to book 54% of all appointments, which equates to many tens of thousands of bookings per day. But it was expected that 90% of all referrals would be made by Choose and Book by December 2006. Now the department says there is no target date to reach that 90%.
This piece from The Guardian in March 2010 explains why our keyword in our Google Adwords campaign ‘Hospital Appointment’ gets so many hits, and support calls, asking how they can locate their appointment or consultant.
A mystery solved.