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Thursday 20th October 2016

If patients wait more than 18 weeks they can demand private hospital

5th July 2012

Health secretary Andrew Lansley looks set to announce that patients can demand to be treated privately if they have to wait more than 18 weeks for NHS care.


In addition, patients who are told they have cancer will be given a legal right to demand a consultation with an alternative provider if they have to wait more than two weeks on the NHS.

Mr Lansley said: “In the last year the NHS has reduced the number of people waiting longer than 18 weeks for treatment to a record low, which is a great achievement. However, we are not complacent and have already challenged the NHS to keep on improving.

“We want those waiting times to come down even further so we are asking the NHS to identify how best to offer patients who run the risk of waiting a long time an alternative hospital to get their treatment from, which could be an NHS hospital or a private provider.”

The move, which is part of plans setting out standards of care patients can expect following the current changes within the NHS, could be a major benefit to patients waiting for non-urgent surgery.

And while hospitals have previously been judged on waiting lists rather than treatment outcomes, in future the NHS will be judged against 60 different outcomes ranging from the number of people dying after being diagnosed with different cancers, recovery time after medical emergencies and how they improve care for those with long-term conditions.

The NHS will also publish an annual report, with the first appraisal released today.


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