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All About Spines Choose and Book Service for NHS Patients

Choose and Book is a service for NHS patients that allows them to select their Hospital and receive treatment as an NHS patient, but to be treated on the Private Sector.


At A Glance…

If you want to be seen by Mr. Natali or Mr. Sivaraman as an NHS patient you simply have to

  • Arrange an appointment with your GP
  • Tell them your symptoms
  • If they agree for you to be referred then inform your GP you would like to go as a choose and book patient
  • They will either give you a unique identifier number and a telephone number or book it with you on the computer.
  • A referral form can be simply faxed to 02077028495
  • If they give you the number, call up and ask for the Friday Clinic for Back and Neck Pain and the London Independent Hospital. You will then be sent an appointment and instructions.
  • If your GP books it for you on the computer, they need to search for the Friday Clinic for Back and Neck Pain and the London Independent Hospital. They will then be able to arrange for an appointment to be sent to you.
  • When you attend you will be seen by MrOvidouVulpe who is our Spinal Specialist. He will go through your history, examine you and arrange tests or the treatment you need.
  • Please bring the last clinic letter that you were sent as this will help in decision-making.



The NHS meets the cost of your treatment. There are nationally agreed prices that are the same for whichever hospital is treating you.

You get everything you would get in the NHS hospitals and you would only pay for extra things that you choose to have such as newspapers and drinks for visitors.


How do I Choose and Book?

Choose and Book works by a patient and GP agreeing on a diagnosis and that treatment is necessary; this is followed by the patient searching for their hospital and then choosing a specific appointment time and date that it suitable for them. This can be completed at the GP surgery, over the phone, or on the internet, allowing time for the patient to read up on their condition and make the decision that is right for them. In order to use the service online or on the phone the patient will need the appointment letter and password provided to them by their GP.


Where Will This All Take Place?

The outpatient and treatment will take place at the London Independent Hospital.
The address is

The London Independent Hospital
1 Beaumont Square
London, E1 4NL

Telephone: 02077802400 (Main Switchboard)

Nearest Tube: Stepney Green


What are the pros and cons?


  • Patient chooses place, date and time of appointment – this can be changed if necessary as all appointments and referrals are tracked
  • Waiting times at the different clinics can be seen on the system allowing patients to be seen more quickly
  • The ability of being able to book an appointment directly with a hospital means that there is no need for patients to follow-up with their GP for an appointment and cuts out the middleman making a smooth system from patient – GP – Consultant
  • No paper needed – saving time and money and making it more environmentally friendly


  • May not be a suitable or appropriate service for the elderly, mentally disabled, or those with poor English
  • Not always easy to find the specific clinic, hospital or treatment being looked for, as well as confusion over the available choices and difficulty for a lay person to find the appropriate clinic within a speciality
  • Confusion over how to arrange urgent referrals
  • The 0845 number is off-putting due to its expense and the worry of not calling a hospital local to the patient
  • Appointments being cancelled by hospital or patient without a clear enough reason and no subsequent follow-up with the GP meaning patient will not receive treatment
  • Some operations may not be included in directory of services (DOS)
  • Certain other illness may exclude you from treatment
  • Body Mass Index may be a factor in accepting a patient for treatment.


It appears that the main hurdle the Choose and Book system has had to overcome is with the NHS staff themselves who have been reluctant to adapt to the new process and are finding it hard to keep on top of the new developments as well as improving patient information and communications.

The Choose and Book system is an excellent way to empower patients and improve patient choice – provided that the patients understand their choice in the first place. To understand more about how to make the most of a patient’s ability to find information and make the choices that are right for them.