The regional press ad, distributed by NHS North East, told patients that: ‘You can choose not only the date and time of your first appointment, but also which hospital you go to. You can choose from any NHS hospital, as well as some private ones.’
A GP complained that the claim could not be substantiated.
The ASA found that, although choice was a national policy, the SHA could not provide evidence that patients had real choice in practice.
It upheld the claim, and said that the ad ‘must not appear again in its current form’.
- Does the NHS offer true choice?
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