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Monday 21st May 2018

Patient choice low priority

23rd May 2007

According to a Healthcare Commission study, choice came close to the end of a list of 82 priorities shown to patients.

opinion poll

The Healthcare Commission published the survey's results on 16 May. 448 respondents to the survey thought that only worries about noise and food were less important than patient choice. The study asked if patients were given "choice of admission date, choice of hospital, and information to make an informed choice of hospital."

The study calls into question the government's scheme to present patients with different options and the money and time spent on developing technology to support this. Pulse magazine saw figures indicating that the Department of Health has apportioned £50m for the choice and booking directed enhanced service (DES).

In 2006, only 27% of more than 80,000 patients who completed another Healthcare Commission inpatient survey said that their GP had given them a choice of treatment or hospital.

The study revealed that patients are more concerned about their GP's ability to understand their medical history and communicate with them adequately. 81% of patients who had undergone a procedure stated they were suitably notified about the "risks and benefits".

Dr Jonathan Fielden, chairman of the BMA's consultants committee commented: “This research reflects what the BMA has been saying for several years - patients are clearly more interested in having a say in the kind of treatment they receive rather than where they receive it.?

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