Primary care choice targeted

The DoH is to widen its choice agenda to areas including primary care and is setting up a reference group to look at GP services.

RCGP chairman Dr Mayur Lakhani will co-chair the group made up of representatives of patient interest organisations. He expects to focus largely on clinical information.

'The DoH is saying it thinks choice is a good idea, but it does not know how to do it in certain areas, and it wants clinicians to help', he said.

'We are looking at clinical engagement and the kind of information people need.

'I think areas that don't seem to work well at the moment are out-of-hours and appointments.'

The DoH has extended the choice GPs should offer patients from four hospitals to include all 32 foundation trusts from this month. Additional independent sector treatment centres will be added in the coming months.

By 2009, all women will have choice over where and how they have their baby, and what pain relief to use.

edward.davies@haynet.com.

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