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'Four different systems' for NHS

2nd January 2008

A body representing NHS organisations has claimed there are now four different NHS systems operating in the UK since devolution.

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NHS Confederation chief executive Dr Gill Morgan says that patients in the UK’s four nations are getting different services and that as the NHS enters its 60th year.

Dr Morgan said: “We basically have four different systems albeit with the same set of values. This period (since devolution) has been unique in the history of the NHS as it was essentially the same across the UK before devolution. We have had a complete split in philosophy. The model in England is about contestability and choice driving service improvements. Outside organisations have been brought in and patients can shop around.

“That model has been rejected by the other three.?

In England that NHS market sees hospitals and community services competing with the private sector for patients, resulting in big falls in waiting times, whereas in Scotland the use of private sector is limited, though patients get free personal care.

Wales has introduced free prescriptions but the emphasis on public health has seen waiting lists rise, while the development of health services in Northern Ireland have been “hamstrung? by the political situation.

Joyce Robins of Patient Concern said: “Patients are increasingly looking across national borders and wondering why they are not getting the care others are getting. I am not sure that is good for the NHS.?

The Patients Association, said England was lagging behind the rest of the UK and had become the “poor relation.?

 

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Article Information

Title: 'Four different systems' for NHS
Author: Mark Nicholls
Article Id: 5201
Date Added: 2nd Jan 2008

Sources

BBC News

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