As from January 2006, you can choose where you go for a specialist opinion about a health problem. So if your GP advises you should see a hospital consultant about a problem with your foot or ankle, you will be given a choice of at least four hospitals, and you will be able to choose the date and time of your first outpatient appointment. In theory, you can choose from hospitals all over the country, provided they are able to treat you.
As the page on Coming to see the team explains, letters to consultants are first checked by local teams to see if the problem could be dealt with in a local health centre without going to hospital at all. In fact over 60% of people with foot and ankle problems are treated successfully by local specialist teams called Musculoskeletal Services without ever going to hospital. For foot and ankle problems, the specialist GPs, podiatrists and physiotherapists in the Musculoskeletal Services work closely with the hospital consultants and use the same treatment plans.
However, about one third of patients with foot and ankle problems will need an appointment with a hospital consultant. This will be arranged through Patients’ Choice, and you could choose to go anywhere there are facilities to treat you.
We hope you will choose to have your consultant appointment locally with the consultants at Royal Blackburn or Burnley General Hospitals.
We believe East Lancashire Foot and Ankle Service is the natural choice for people in East Lancashire - and a good choice from elsewhere!
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