Latest patient choice survey omits statistics on private providers

The DoH’s latest patient choice survey has included private providers for the first time but failed to publish outcomes for independent treatment centres.

Patients referred to 11 independent treatment centres were included in the England-wide survey in November 2006.

But while outcomes for every PCT were included, no separate results were given for patients referred to a private provider.

‘The outcomes will be available when we undertake secondary analysis,’ a DoH spokesman explained.

The fourth bi-monthly survey revealed a slow increase in the number of patients who remember their GP offering them more than one secondary care provider.

Out of almost 25 per cent of patients who returned questionnaires to Ipsos Mori in December 2006, more than 40 per cent recalled a choice of provider. In the first choice survey in May, 30 per cent recalled being offered choice.

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