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Hospitals to be scored over drug access

29th August 2012

The Department of Health has said hospital scorecard ratings will be made public, allowing people to assess if their health authority provides the latest drugs and treatments.

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The scheme will be launched before autumn and will publicly shame those health authorities which deny drugs or do not offer patients access to treatments. 

Under the current system, if the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence approves a treatment, patients are "entitled" to receive it if doctors think it is "appropriate" for their treatment.

However, not all trusts offer patients new drugs when they are approved, with some delaying getting new drugs while others start immediately.

NHS Confederation deputy chief executive David Stout said: "The reality is we can only afford to provide new drugs or treatments where they are cost effective and demonstrably add real patient benefits.

"In a health system with no financial growth, any new costs have to be offset by savings elsewhere. That is why it is crucial that NHS organisations engage their local communities and clinicians in decisions about priorities." 

Health Minister Paul Burstow said: "This new regime will be a catalyst for change - we are determined to eradicate variation and drive up standards for everyone." 

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Article Information

Title: Hospitals to be scored over drug access
Author: Jess Laurence
Article Id: 22598
Date Added: 29th Aug 2012

Sources

BBC News

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