Civitas blames primary care organisations and GPs in the report Why are we waiting?
It says the utilisation of independent sector treatment centres is still below capacity despite all the evidence pointing to better standards of care.
It says the number of patients who recalled being offered a choice of hospital for their first outpatient appointment actually fell by 5 per cent between March and July 2007 to 43 per cent.
Just 45 per cent of GP referrals use the Choose and Book system.
James Gubb, director of the Civitas health unit, said: ‘It must now be down to PCTs and GPs to encourage choice and competition. For the benefits of competition to be realised, and for waiting times to really accelerate downwards, the reluctance of commissioners to use independent providers at the expense of established NHS providers has to change.’
Comment below and tell us what you think
See all commented articles in our Forums and Blogs section