Patients to benefit from library service

PATIENTS in Suffolk are to benefit from a new library service launched to help them choose the most appropriate and convenient place to receive hospital treatment.

PATIENTS in Suffolk are to benefit from a new library service launched to help them choose the most appropriate and convenient place to receive hospital treatment.

Under the national patient choice scheme, launched last year, patients now get a chance to choose from a list of local hospitals or clinics where to have treatment if referred to a specialist by a GP.

Libraries in Bury St Edmunds, Haverhill and Clare can now help patients make an informed choice about where to have that treatment.

Launched by the Partnership for Patients group, the Patient Choice Library Pilot is running in just six areas across the country, with Suffolk chosen as one of two rural areas.

After being referred to a specialist a patient can book a hospital appointment at their GP surgery, Alternatively under the new pilot scheme patients can now take away a password and booking reference and take them to one of the libraries where help will be on hand.

The library service will be able to help patients with non-clinical information about all the hospitals they are able to choose from, and help them book their appointment.

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The pilot scheme will run for six months before an independent evaluation of the scheme, led by Loughborough University, is carried out to assess the accessibility, implications to GPs and patient satisfaction.

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