Small is beautiful20th July 2006
Reform, the pro-market pressure group, has said that the National Health Service needs a big investment of capital but mainly not in large hospitals.
According to a report by Nick Bosanquet, Professor of health policy at Imperial College, London, new systems of paying hospitals for activity, more patient choice and more commissioning by GPs mean large hospital buildings will only be appropriate in limited circumstances.
The NHS still needs significant investment to generate a more flexible pattern of services in buildings that will support a redesign of how services are provided. However, that requires "smaller, simpler units which do not have to be owned by the NHS but could be leased to NHS providers" said Prof Bosanquet.
He continued that much of the investment needed to be in the £5m to £30m range, rather than large-scale private finance initiative (PFI) hospitals costing hundreds of millions of pounds and which involve a 30-year commitment.
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