Unison opposes direct payments for patients

Direct payments would take the NHS in the wrong direction, according to union Unison.

Karen Jennings: Allowing patients to ‘pick and mix’ their care is not the way forward.
Karen Jennings: Allowing patients to ‘pick and mix’ their care is not the way forward.

The DoH is currently consulting about the viability of allowing patients in England to have a say over how the money allocated for their care is spent.

Karen Jennings, Unison head of health, said: ‘Patients should have the right to a greater say over their treatment, but handing over cash and leaving them to ‘pick and mix' their care is not the way forward.

‘We are totally opposed to this policy because it could easily pave the way to means-testing, patient top-up fees for services, or greater barriers to treatment for those who most need it. Particularly at a time of tightening economic conditions, when budgets on spending on health services may be cut, direct payments are a risk not worth taking. Unison believes they could prove damaging to the NHS and to individual patients.

‘Choosing the most effective treatment from a range of options is not an easy decision for patients. There is always a possibility that if a patient exhausts their budget, either they will have to top-up their care, or the NHS will be left to foot the bill. Neither of which is acceptable.

‘Direct payments would have massive implications for workforce planning, NHS budgets, for a two-tier NHS and for staff training and development. They are taking the NHS in the wrong direction.'

  • What do you think about direct payments?

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Register

Already registered?

Sign in

Follow Us:

Just published

GPs receive Queen's birthday honours

GPs receive Queen's birthday honours

GPs are among those who have been recognised in the Queen's birthday honours.

UK COVID-19 vaccination programme tracker

UK COVID-19 vaccination programme tracker

GPs across the UK are playing a leading role in the largest-ever NHS vaccination...

The healthcare crisis in Myanmar - how UK GPs can help

The healthcare crisis in Myanmar - how UK GPs can help

Dr Jim Brockbank from Myanmar UK GP Health Action provides an update on how the military...

GPs warn of 'open floodgates' as 84% say e-consultations have driven up workload

GPs warn of 'open floodgates' as 84% say e-consultations have driven up workload

More than four fifths of GPs say e-consultation systems adopted in the pandemic have...

Map: Which CCGs have the highest COVID-19 vaccine coverage?

Map: Which CCGs have the highest COVID-19 vaccine coverage?

Tens of millions of COVID-19 jabs have been administered across England, but how...

Podcast: Greener practice, sharing patient data and additional roles

Podcast: Greener practice, sharing patient data and additional roles

In this episode we look at data extraction from GP records, ask whether the additional...