Responding to the Government’s new “Plan for Patients”, David Hare, Chief Executive of the Independent Healthcare Providers Network (IHPN), said:
“We welcome today’s commitment from the Secretary of State that she will be a “champion for patients” and put more power in the hands of patients, and her plan sets out some important measures to tackle the growing backlog of care, including maximising the use of independent sector capacity and ensuring patients can choose the fastest possible treatment.
“However, with NHS waiting lists at record levels and set to rise even further, it’s vital that these welcome commitments are now urgently made a reality so that NHS patients aren’t left languishing.
“Recent IHPN research conducted with the Patients Association found that across England, patients need to travel just 13.2 miles – around 30 minutes by car – to cut over three and a half months off their NHS waiting time by choosing an alternative provider. But with almost half of the public unaware of these rights, much more needs to be done to ensure the public are fully aware of the choices available to them, and we look forward to working with the Government to ensure all blockers to patient choice are removed and that the independent sector can play its full role in the elective recovery.”