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Home Industry News NHS announces greater control for patients

NHS announces greater control for patients

20th March 2008

Patients are to be given increased choice over their treatment on the NHS with new proposals to be introduced at the start of April, it has been claimed.

The Department of Health reports that from the beginning of next months, patients receiving routine elective treatment will have the option of being seen by an NHS-approved hospital provider in England.

It claims that empowered patients will have a better experience of their care as they take on a greater responsibility of it, with the free choice programme making it important for healthcare providers to better understand the wants and needs of GPs and patients.

Ben Bradshaw, minister for health services, said: “Choice is fundamental to the delivery of a personalised NHS.

“People would like to have more control and be more involved in the decisions about their illness and treatment.”

He added that increases in the scope of patient choice will enhance standards and quality across the board in the health service.

In May 2003, the King’s Fund claimed that the extension of patient choice is improving efficiency and reducing waiting times, but warned that it could put the principle of equity of the health service at risk if patients no longer receive equal access to healthcare for equal need.

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