Choice is a nice idea, if somewhat mythical

LMCs representatives have today rubbished the Department of Health’s ‘Choice’ agenda, agreeing that it offers choice as illusory - if as enticing - as the Loch Ness monster.

Parading his very own cuddly monster to reinforce the point, Dr Simon Poole from Cambridgeshire told delegates: 'Let's imagine that choice did not depend on budgetary constraints, did not depend on referral criteria. Let's imagine for a moment that if you wanted to refer a patient to an orthopaedic surgeon they would actually see an orthopaedic surgeon, not a physiotherapist in a Portakabin.'

Instead, Dr Poole insisted 'Let us work for real choice for our patients.'

Delegates warmed to his cuddly monster and they warmed to the theme. They agreed that Choice is indeed a wonderful idea and indeed creates the possibility of great publicity, that you can go and look for it and some even believe they have experienced it first hand but fundamentally, no one in their right mind believes it exists.

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