If you have to endure increasingly long waiting times for routine elective surgery, there could be a solution for you. In some cases you can ask to be switched to a different hospital waiting list if you have been told that you will have to wait for treatment for more than 18 weeks.

What choices do I have?

If you need to see a consultant you can ask to change your hospital if:

Your CCG (or NHS England, if you have been referred to a consultant-led specialised service) must take all reasonable steps to ensure that you are offered an appointment at a suitable alternative organisation that can start your treatment earlier than if you were to continue to wait for treatment from the provider you originally chose. If there is more than one suitable alternative organisation, you must be offered a choice from all of them.

Are these legal rights?

Yes, but there are circumstances in which you may not ask to change your hospital.

Can I change hospitals during treatment?

Yes, if you have waited more than 18 weeks for non-urgent treatment to start you have a legal entitlement to change hospitals during treatment. However you do not have a legal entitlement to ask to be switched to a different hospital waiting list if:

Did you know you have the right to choose where to have your NHS surgery?

If you or a loved one needs to see an NHS specialist, you can choose to access any hospital or treatment centre in England.

We know that making an informed decision, and the right choice for your individual needs, is important to you and your recovery, so we want to help as much as possible.

Why choose Practice Plus Group Hospital, Southampton?

We are passionate about creating an exceptional experience for all our patients, and believe in treating you as quickly and carefully as possible, helping you to feel better, faster. As our patient you can benefit from:

Department of Health – Information Booklet

For a visual guide and more information on how to change your hospital, the Department of Health website prepared a document to download. Please note that the following link will lead you out of our page and Practice Plus Group is not responsible for the content.

Department of Health: choose Easyread leaflet 4: Changing your hospital

You will also find a lot of other useful information on your choices within the NHS on this page.