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Right to Choose (NHS England)

For latest Right To Choose Providers waiting list information click here.

Introduction

If you are based in England under the NHS you now have a legal right to choose your mental healthcare provider and your choice of mental healthcare team. This important right means that, for instance, should you decide the waiting time for your ADHD assessment is too long, then you can choose alternative providers.  The provider must supply the service to the NHS somewhere in England. The providers we are aware of are listed below and we update the list regularly.

Right to Choose within mental health is a relatively new option (since 2018) and as such, not all patients, GPs or other clinicians are aware of it and how it works. We’ve got an explanation targeted for people going through the ADHD Assessment process below.

For how Right to Choose fits into the diagnosis pathway please click here. We’ve also got a downloadable support letter for anyone who finds their GP has initially declined them.

You will also find significant amounts of information via the NHS link on NHS choices below:

https://www.nhs.uk/using-the-nhs/about-the-nhs/your-choices-in-the-nhs/

Read the adult diagnosis pathway first

This is a detailed page on Right to Choose which aims to provide additional information for those that need it. To understand the context and use of Right to Choose it is important to read the Adult Diagnosis Pathway page first.

The Right to Choose System

Patients have the Right to Choose when the following conditions are met:

  • the NHS practice is in England (different rules apply for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland)
  • the General Practitioner has agreed to make clinically appropriate outpatient referral (Of note: The decision to make a referral is the GPs responsibility and separate from Right to Choose. Right to Choose is a patient’s right to decide where that referral is to

The above is designed to be wide ranging in its application to patient choice. However. there are certain restrictions on a patient’s Right to Choose that you should be aware of. Patients cannot use Right to Choose is they are:

  • already receiving mental health care following an elective referral for the same condition
  • referred to a service that is commissioned by a local authority, for example a drug and alcohol service (unless commissioned under a Section 75 agreement)
  • accessing urgent or emergency (crisis) care
  • accessing services delivered through a primary care contract
  • in high secure psychiatric services
  • detained under the Mental Health Act 1983
  • detained in a secure setting. This includes people in or on temporary release from prisons, courts, secure children’s homes, certain secure training centres, immigration removal centres or young offender institutions
  • serving as a member of the armed forces (family members in England have the same rights as other residents of England.

There are restrictions on who the patient can direct their care to. Patients cannot refer to just any provider. The provider must:

  • have a commissioning contract with any Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) or NHS England for the required service
  • have the service and team led by a consultant or a mental healthcare professional

Common GP queries include:

  • does an IFR (Individual Funding Request) need to be in place? It does not
  • does the CCG need to be asked permission? It does not

For the avoidance of any doubt: It is our clear understanding, and we know of hundreds who have done so, that an ADHD Assessment generally falls under Right to Choose. It is also our clear understanding that psychiatry-uk.com are a permitted provider.

As a charity we are passionate about helping those with ADHD. We are aware of many long waiting lists within the NHS and therefore will direct people to Right to Choose. If you think it would help, we are also happy to mediate and advocate for those patients where their Right to Choose is being discussed. If you would like to get in touch please contact us.

Right to Choose Providers – ADHD Assessments

We are aware of the following Right to Choose providers. If you are aware of any more then please let us know. To be notified of new providers as we learn about them please join our mailing list.

Psychiatry-uk.com. who may be the largest provider of right to choose ADHD assessments in the UK. Their assessments are predominately done by video call, which has become common place since the start of the pandemic.  Psychiatry UK provide details on Right To Choose, including a downloadable letter to give your GP, here.

May 2022 Update:  They will be contacting referred patients who are waiting to be offered an appointment in the very near future. There have been delays due to the popularity of the service. Information is updated on their website on a regular basis.

 ADHD 360 provide both Right to Choose and Private ADHD Assessments. They started providing their Right to Choose service in mid-2021.

They have recently added a video talking that they do not have the capacity to reach demand. They talk of having 28 Right to Choose places per month but are getting 28 referrals a day. They talk about recruiting but the current situation meaning a wait list. You can see the video here.

May 2022 Update: As per their website, they are currently taking bookings for Spring 2024 for adults only. 

 

Clinical Partners have confirmed they also provide both Right to Choose and Private ADHD Assessments for adults and children, although Right To Choose is not currently signposted on their website.

May 2022 Update: All new RTC bookings are currently on hold. They aim to have more capacity to accept new referrals later in the year, and plan to start accepting referrals and begin assessments from autumn 2022

 

Evolve Psychology have two clinics based in Harrogate, North Yorkshire and Huddersfield, West Yorkshire. They offer Right To Choose assessments for ADHD and Autism (or both as a combined neurodevelopmental assessment) for children/ young people up to the age of 19 who are in education. They do not have a Right to choose service for adults (although they do have a private adult service for ADHD and Autism Services). They can accept referrals England-wide.  They prefer face to face assessments, but might be able to offer online assessments depending on individual circumstances if the team feel it would be appropriate.

May 2022: Due to a huge influx of referrals, they are having to temporarily close their referrals list for Right to Choose to deal with this backlog.

 

Axias ASD are based in Chester and offer local physical and England-wide virtual assessment options under Right to Choose for adults only, and Private for adults and children. For Right To Choose, they provide diagnosis but do not take on medication or titration process, so it’s important to check with your GP or local mental health clinic that they can support the medication process if required.

May 2022 Update: As per their website, ADHD assessments are no longer offered since end of December 2021, only ASD for the time being. 

 

Psicon offer ADHD face to face appointments only in three areas: Kent and Medway (for adults) , Isle of Wight and North East Hampshire  (children aged 6-18 only).

April  2022: Their current wait time for RTC assessments is around 2 months from the date of referral.  

 

 

Healios is an online platform that focusses on children and young people assessments. 

As of December 2021: while Healios did offer Right to Choose ADHD assessments for a few months this year, the service is no longer available, but they do still offer Private assessments. 

 

 

 

 

 

In the event of a GP initially declining your Right to Choose

The vast majority of GPs understand Right to Choose and appreciate the need for many patients to use it to bypass long NHS waiting lists (we are campaigning against those). Within ADHD UK we’ve heard countless stories of GPs helping their patients with it and are grateful to them for doing so. In a very small number of cases we know of GPs initially refusing to allow a patient their Right to Choose. In the majority of these cases it has been due to a slight misunderstanding and not appreciating it was a patient right. To help people in that situation we have a downloadable letter for you to give your GP.

gp support letter