First mental health Choose and Book service launches

Patient Experience Programme: Older Adults - Involving and engaging people

We are introducing a new pilot scheme designed to make life easier for referrers and for older people using our mental health services in Greenwich.

A two month trial of the Choose and Book system will be introduced next month in the Greenwich Memory Service, with GPs from seven surgeries throughout the Royal Borough being asked to make referrals using the system.

It will specifically be aimed at people using the Oxleas Greenwich Memory Service for the first time - Oxleas is only the second NHS trust in London to pilot Choose and Book for mental health services.

Choose and Book is a system used by many GPs when making referrals. People referred to the Greenwich Memory Clinic will be able to choose the time and date of their appointment. The pilot will start tomorrow (2 September).

Ana Saiz, a Consultant Psychiatrist in the Memory Service, said: "We know from experience that patients and carers being referred into our memory services generally prefer to book their appointment up to six weeks into the future and rarely ask for an appointment within three weeks. The new service is designed to offer flexibility for us to fit in with the patients and carers, not the other way around."

If the scheme is successful long term benefits could include: reducing the rate of inappropriate referrals; enhanced patient/carer choice and experience and stronger feedback for GP referrers.

Once the pilot has been evaluated, Choose and Book will become available as a route into more mental health services in Greenwich over the course of the next year.

Published on 1st September 2013