Patient choice

What choices are available to you in your NHS care

NHS Lincolnshire ICB is committed to giving patient greater choice and control over how they receive their healthcare in line with the Government’s commitment.

This commitment is reflected in the NHS Constitution for England. The constitution establishes the principles and values of the NHS in England. It sets out:

  • rights that patients, the public and staff are entitled to
  • pledges that the NHS is committed to achieving
  • responsibilities that the public, patients and staff owe to one another to ensure that the NHS operates fairly and effectively

The constitution makes clear that “you have the right to make choices about the services commissioned by NHS bodies and to information to support these choices”. It also pledges to “inform you about the healthcare services available to you, locally and nationally” and to “offer you easily accessible, reliable and relevant information in a form you can understand, and support to use it, to enable you to participate fully in your own healthcare decisions and to support you in making choices”.

This framework sets out some of the nationally set choices available to you in the NHS.

It explains:

  • when you have choices about your health and care
  • where to get more information to help you choose
  • how to complain if you are not offered a choice

In some circumstances you have legal rights to choice and you must be given these choices by law. In other circumstances you do not have a legal right to choice but you should be offered choice about your care, depending on what is available locally. This is what the government has asked healthcare professionals to do. Find out more about what choices are available to you in your NHS care – GOV.UK (

Single Point of Access – EACH

NHS Lincolnshire ICB provides a single point of access for patients called the ‘EACH’ (Elective Activity Coordination Hub, which is a service provided to assist with patient choice if you have been referred to Community Services and Hospitals (including Private) for NHS treatment. This does not include referrals for diagnostics (tests) or mental health.  

Patient Initiated Digital Mutual Aid System (PIDMAS)

From 31st October 2023, patients who have been waiting over 40 weeks for treatment and do not have an appointment date within the next eight weeks, could be eligible to request to move to a different hospital to be treated sooner.

Patients who are eligible will be contacted by the hospital they are currently referred to and asked if they would like to request to move to an alternative hospital if one can be identified that has capacity and shorter waiting time. This could include an NHS hospital or an independent provider. Patients who are eligible will be contacted either by letter or text message with a link or telephone number to call. 

It is important to note, patients should wait to be contacted and there is no need to contact your hospital or GP practice.

After confirming details, including how far you would be willing to travel, you will receive an automated message if there are no opportunities available to transfer. However, if options are available to you then the Elective Activity Coordination Hub (EACH) will contact you to discuss.

If there is an opportunity to transfer then you may be seen sooner, but if you are not offered a new provider, you will remain in the same position on your current Providers waiting list.

This is part of our work to help reduce elective waiting lists and provide greater patient choice.

More information can be found in the links below.

Transport options and help with travel costs

Please see information below about transport options and help with travel costs.

  • Non-Emergency Patient Transport Services (NEPTS)

    EMAS is responsible for delivering Non-Emergency Patient Transport Services (NEPTS) for Lincolnshire. Most people should travel to and from hospital independently by private or public transport, with the help of relatives or friends if necessary. NHS-funded patient transportation is reserved for when it is considered essential to ensuring an individual’s safety, safe mobilisation, condition management or recovery.  

    Only patients who meet one of the below reasons for an appointment will be considered for eligibility for NEPTS:

    • The patient has been referred by a doctor, dentist or ophthalmic practitioner for non-primary care NHS-funded healthcare services – that is, diagnostics or treatment.

    • The patient is being discharged from NHS-funded treatment.

    To determine if you are eligible for NHS funded transport then full information can be found on the EMAS website and in the patient leaflet.

    Lincolnshire :: East Midlands Ambulance Service (


    To make a booking please call the booking line: 0300 300 3434. Your relative or carer may also book this for you if needed. Your call will be assessed to see whether you are eligible to use the serviuce by asking you a few simple questions about your medical condition and mobility needs.

  • Help with travel costs

    If you are not eligible for NHS funded transport, you may qualify for help with travel costs under the Healthcare Travel Cost Scheme – full details available via the NHS UK website Healthcare Travel Costs Scheme (HTCS) - NHS (

  • Alternative transport options

    For general information regarding public transport in Lincolnshire call the Transport Helpline on 0345 456 4474 or visit the website LincsBus - Homepage.

    Monday – Friday: 9.30am – 5.30pm, Saturday: 9:30am – 4pm.

    The website contains details of Community and volunteer transport schemes and the on-demand bus service ‘Call Connect’.