DoH survey shows patients want more choice

Over 80% of patients would like more choice over where they are treated in the NHS, a DoH survey has found.

Mr Lansley: ‘Patients want more choice and control over their healthcare, which is exactly what our plans to modernise the NHS are all about.'

The DoH survey of over 5,000 people also found that over 78% of respondents wanted more choice in how they were treated in the NHS.

Over 70% of people said they would like a choice over which consultant is in charge of their care. The same number would like a say in which consultant is in charge of their children’s care.

Health secretary Andrew Lansley said that the survey results showed that the government reforms were what the public wanted.

‘This is clear evidence that patients want more choice and control over their healthcare, which is exactly what our plans to modernise the NHS are all about.

‘The NHS should be there to serve patients and the public – not vested interests. That’s why we’re modernising the NHS and improving patient choice,’ Mr Lansley said.

GPC negotiator Dr Peter Holden said that in principal he supported patient choice.

‘But people need to understand that choice costs money. Choice implies there is spare capacity,' he said.

Dr Holden said that if patients choose one hospital over another, for example, the NHS would still be left paying for both.

We should also ask whether the public really understand what choice in healthcare means, Dr Holden said.

‘You’re not buying a television having read Which magazine,’ he said.

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