CCP welcomes DH’s support on patient choice

Published on Monday, 14 November 2011 16:36
Posted by Scott Buckler

The Cooperation and Competition Panel (CCP) has welcomed the Department of Health’s acceptance of its findings on ensuring patient choice in routine elective care

In a report published in July, the CCP had found that some patients are losing out as a result of restrictions placed by some commissioners on their choice of provider of NHS care - such as the imposition of minimum waiting times.The Department of Health has today accepted the CCP’s key recommendations that those Primary Care Trusts (PCTs) currently imposing inappropriate constraints on elective activity should stop doing so and put improved commissioning procedures and transparency in place to ensure the benefits of patient choice are realised.

Patients have a right to choose their hospital under the NHS Constitution and the Principles and Rules of Cooperation and Competition. However, in its report the CCP explained that while some commissioners are successfully balancing the range of demands on them, and still delivering patient choice, others are restricting choice excessively. The CCP suggested that unless the significant variation between commissioners delivering choice is addressed there is a serious risk that the benefits of patient choice - both to patients and taxpayers – will not be realised to its full potential.

CCP Director, Catherine Davies commented:

‘We’re pleased that the Department of Health has accepted both our findings and key recommendations to ensure that all patients benefit from being able to choose their hospital for planned operations. Commissioners should now be clear that practices which excessively restrict patient choice are not acceptable and we expect to see commissioners change their approach where necessary.’

 

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