How we do it: analysing GP referral priorities: the unforeseen effect of 'Choose and Book'

Clin Otolaryngol. 2006 Aug;31(4):327-30. doi: 10.1111/j.1749-4486.2006.01180.x.


The introduction of Choose and Book may have a significant effect on the proportion of urgent referrals seen by ENT surgeons. Much of the responsibility for prioritisation will be transferred to the GP. Patients who are considered urgent by the ENT surgeon will be added to those considered urgent by the GP. Our results show that there was little agreement between GPs and ENT surgeon on what constitutes an urgent referral. The combined effect of joint prioritisation and the removal of the 'soon' category resulted in a 270% increase in 'urgent' referrals in our sample. This potentially unforeseen consequence of the Choose and Book system should be taken into consideration by ENT departments to allow for an expansion of the 'urgent' category.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Appointments and Schedules
  • Emergencies / classification*
  • Family Practice / standards*
  • Humans
  • Interprofessional Relations
  • Medical Records Systems, Computerized
  • Needs Assessment
  • Otolaryngology / standards*
  • Patient Selection
  • Practice Patterns, Physicians' / statistics & numerical data*
  • Referral and Consultation / statistics & numerical data*
  • United Kingdom