Bristol Shoulder Specialists

Bristol Shoulder Specialists Ltd. represents four expert Shoulder Surgeons providing specialist shoulder services in Bristol and the South-West. All are Consultants in Trauma and Orthopaedic Surgery and work within the National Health Service as well providing Private Practice services at the Spire Hospital, Bristol.

Bristol Shoulder Specialists provides an NHS Choose and Book Service for arthroscopic (keyhole) shoulder surgery at the Spire Hospital, Bristol.

What is Choose and Book?

Choose and Book is a service that lets you choose your hospital or clinic and book your first appointment.

When you and your GP or referrer agree that you need an appointment, you can choose which hospital or clinic you go to. You will also be able to choose the date and time of your appointment.

If you have a shoulder condition that is appropriate and might benefit from arthroscopic (key-hole) shoulder surgery, that choice includes being seen as an NHS patient but at the Spire Hospital, Bristol by one of the Bristol Shoulder Specialists consultants.

How does Choose and Book work?

When you and your GP or referrer agree that you need an appointment with a specialist, Choose and Book shows your GP or referrer which hospitals or clinics are available for your treatment. Your GP discusses with you the clinically appropriate options that are available for treating your medical condition.

If you know where and when you would like to be seen, you may be able to book your appointment before you leave the surgery. You will be given confirmation of the place, date and time of your appointment.

You may want more time to consider your choices. If so, you can take the Appointment Request letter away with you and book your appointment later.  Your Appointment Request letter lists your unique booking reference number, your NHS number and a list of hospital or clinic options for you to choose from. Your GP practice or Triage Service will also give you a password with your Appointment Request letter.

You can then decide how you wish to book your appointment; via the telephone, using the national number on the letter or via the internet. 

In some cases you will need to telephone your chosen hospital directly to make your appointment. This is because the hospital computer does not link to Choose and Book.

The choice of specialists who you can choose to see now includes the Bristol Shoulder Specialists who provide a Choose and Book service at the Spire Hospital, Bristol.

What are the benefits of Choose and Book?

There are a number of advantages to Choose and Book.

You can choose your hospital.

You can choose any hospital in England funded by the NHS (this includes NHS hospitals and some independent hospitals, including the Spire Hospital, Bristol).  More information about hospitals is available on the NHS Choices website.

Now patients can choose which hospital they are seen in according to what matters most to them, whether its location, waiting times, reputation, clinical performance, visiting policies, parking facilities or patients' comments. Patients can also choose to go to independent sector providers who have a contract with the NHS and this now includes the Spire Hospital Bristol.

You can choose the date and time of your appointment.

You experience greater convenience and certainty. With Choose and Book, the choice is yours.

Bristol Shoulder Specialists can provide a choice of appointment times and dates at your convenience.

Will Choose and Book make getting an appointment faster?

Yes.  The old process is that your GP writes a letter and the hospital allocates a date and time for your appointment.  This could take several weeks and the date and time offered may or may not suit you.

How long will I have to wait to be seen if I choose Bristol Shoulder Specialists?

If you choose Bristol Shoulder Specialists appointments will be available from 2 weeks from the date you decide.

Will Choose and Book reduce my waiting time?

The current wait time between referral and surgery for Choose and Book shoulder patients through Bristol Shoulder Specialists at the Spire Hospital Bristol is approximately 4 to 5 weeks. The waiting time between referral and any required surgery at the NHS hospitals in Bristol may be up to 18 weeks.

How long is the average waiting time in my area before I can see a specialist?

Appointment waiting times for your area may be found the NHS Choices website, where you can search by both hospital and specialty.

Will I see a consultant?

NHS hospitals provide a named consultant-led team where a consultant retains overall clinical responsibility for the service, team or treatment. The consultant will not necessarily be physically present for each patient’s appointment, but he/she takes overall clinical responsibility for patient care.

Bristol Shoulder Specialists provides a direct consultant service which means that you will always be seen by a specialist consultant in clinic who will also undertake any necessary procedure or operation.

When and how do I book the appointment?

In some cases Choose and Book will allow you to book your first hospital
appointment immediately and electronically while you are still at the GP surgery, so that you can go home with a definite and convenient appointment in your hand.

If you are unable to make a decision in your GP surgery.  If for example, you need to check with your family, friends or work before booking your appointment, you can do it later over the phone or on the internet.

You and your GP will choose a number of clinically appropriate hospitals. He or she will then print out an Appointment Request letter for you to take away with you.  Your Appointment Request letter lists your Unique Booking Reference Number (UBRN), your NHS number, a list of hospital or clinic options for you to choose from and how to book your appointment.  Your GP practice will also give you a password with your Appointment Request letter. 

You can then book your appointment later from home using The Appointments Line (0345 608 8888), the internet or, in some cases, by contacting the hospital directly.

You must have your Appointment Request letter and your password if you want to book your appointment after leaving the surgery.

Choose and Book will offer you a list of hospitals to choose from, together with a range of available appointment dates and times.  You can then decide to go to a particular hospital even if it means you will have to wait longer, or to have an earlier appointment at another hospital.

Information about waiting times at different hospitals is available on the NHS Choices website.  You can also call The Appointments Line on 0345 60 88888, available every day of the year except Christmas day. All calls will be charged at local rate.

Do I have to pay to go privately if I want to be seen more quickly and Choose and Book is not available in my area?

Some private hospitals provide services to the NHS nationally and some Primary Care Trusts also have local agreements with private hospital providers.  Those services can be found via Choose and Book. 

Bristol Shoulder Specialists provide an NHS Choose and Book service within a private hospital setting at the Spire Hospital Bristol. There are no charges or payments required as this is an NHS service. The service is provided at the same cost to the NHS as care provided in an NHS Hospital.

However, if you choose to be treated outside of the NHS, the arrangements for private healthcare are the same as they exist currently.

Please contact your local Primary Care Trust to discuss your options and their plans for supporting patient choice.  Contact details are listed on the NHS Choices website.

What happens if my condition worsens dramatically before I get to see a specialist?

If you feel your condition has deteriorated and are concerned, you should return to your GP.

How do I book, change or cancel my appointment?

You can book online using the information provided in your Appointment Request letter. You can also contact the Appointments Line on 0345 6088888. They will be happy to book your appointment for you. Sometimes hospitals do not have their appointments linked to Choose and Book and when this happens, you need to contact the hospital directly to book your appointment. This will be indicated on your Appointment Request letter by a picture of a phone next to the relevant clinic.

If you are unable to make an appointment with Bristol Shoulder Specialists or have general enquiries please contact 0117 9804062 or 0117 9804058.

If you are calling The Appointments Line and cannot get though, this may be because the service is also getting a large volume of calls. If this is the case, you will get a message telling you that the service is busy and asking you to call back later. On many occasions, although the automated message asks you to call back, your call will be answered fairly promptly.

For complaints about the service you received from the Appointments Line, email directly to

What do I do if I have not got my reference number and password details?

If you do not have this information, you should contact your GP practice who can provide you with this so that you can book your appointment. The national Choose and Book team do not have access to your personal information so cannot provide this for you.

Why do I get the message "no appointments available"?

This is because the hospital has not released any appointments into Choose and Book. Individual hospitals are responsible for making their appointments available through Choose and Book to make sure patients and GPs and other referrers can book electronically.

Appointments with Bristol Shoulder Specialists should always be available. If for some reason you are told this is not the case please contact the Spire Hospital Bristol, Choose and Book service on 0117 9804062 or 0117 9804058.

Why have I been locked out?

Choose and Book uses record locking to protect the confidentiality of each patient's appointment requests. As a security measure, if somebody experiences a system error this lock remains in place. After 30 minutes of inactivity Choose and Book removes the lock but if you are still having difficulties, you can contact The Appointments Line on 0345 608 8888 who can remove the lock for you.

Why have I not received a confirmation letter?

You may not get a confirmation letter from your local hospital as some hospitals choose not to send confirmation letters. If you are worried, and cannot print your confirmation yourself via the Choose and Book system then you should contact the hospital directly to make sure they have a record of your appointment.

For general queries relating to the booking of Bristol Shoulder Specialist at the Spire Hospital Bristol please contact: 0117 9804062 or 0117 9804058

Alternatively, you can contact the Appointments Line on 0345 6088888 who will be able to look into your appointment details for you.