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Your spotlight on health and social care services


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"I want the right to choose from a range of high quality services, products and providers within health and social care."

Wherever possible, people should have the right to make choices about how and where their treatment or care is provided. They should be given a meaningful choice, including the necessary information to support proper choice. Where there are additional paid-for options, people should be told about them.

Not everyone wants to choose. Some people have told us they prefer if the choice is made on their behalf, but all of us should be given the option of choice.

“Just to be able to know what the options are. You know, ‘this is what’s going to happen’. A lot of the time people get treatment but then they realise they could have done something else.

What this could mean in practice

If your council has said you are eligible for social care, you should be given the option of choosing different ways of being supported in your own home, rather than being pressured to go into a nursing home.

If you go to your dentist to have a filling replaced, you should expect a high quality service, but you should also be offered paid-for options such as white fillings, even if you will have to pay for this yourself.

If you have been assessed as needing therapy to help you manage your anxiety condition, you should be able to choose who provides this support and whether you get cognitive behavioural therapy or exposure therapy.

Join the conversation

Tweet your thoughts using the hashtag #thinkrights, or contact your local Healthwatch to share your thoughts and experiences. Some questions to get you started:

  • What does the right to choose mean to you?
  • How do you see this right working in the real world?