IHPN responds to Government announcement on expansion of patient choice

Responding to the Government’s announcement to expand patient choice, David Hare, Chief Executive of the Independent Healthcare Providers Network, said:

“Today’s announcement is hugely welcome and will have real benefits for patients through widening the range of high-quality services available to the public and reducing overall waiting times for a broader range of NHS services.

“Our recent “Time to Choose” report with the Patients Association found that patients want to be given a choice and when offered it, can cut on average over three months off their wait for NHS care by exercising their right to choose a different provider – whether NHS or independent sector – something that could make a real difference in tackling care backlogs.

“We also welcome the publication of the Independent Panel on Patient Choice and Procurement’s report which rightly emphasises the importance of tackling local barriers to patient choice, including ensuring there is real-time local data to identify any available capacity in the health system – enabling people to make the most informed decisions around their care and ultimately cutting the time they wait for treatment.”