More work needed to make the NHS’ commitment to choice a reality for all patients, survey suggests
A survey published yesterday shows that too few NHS patients say that they are being offered a choice about where they receive care, indicating that more work needs to be done to promote patient choice across the NHS.
40% of respondents to NHS England and Monitor’s annual survey into patient choice said they were offered a choice of hospital or clinic for their first outpatient appointment by their GPs. This is a small improvement from last year’s 38%.
The survey indicated that, where patients are offered a choice, they are much more likely to be able to go to the hospital or clinic they want (91% compared to only 41% amongst those who weren’t offered a choice).
The survey asked more than 2,700 patients questions about the options they were offered by their GP when being referred for an outpatient appointment. Some of key findings were:
- people living in rural areas were more likely than those living in urban areas to be aware of their right to choose (52% vs 46%) and to be offered a choice (42% vs 39%)
- 47% of patients were aware of their right to choose a hospital or clinic for their outpatient appointment, which has decreased from 51% last year
- two thirds of young people (18 - 25 year olds) weren’t offered a choice (64%), but those that were offered a choice were the most likely to engage with their GP and discuss where to go (79%)
- among those who were offered a choice of where to go for their first outpatient appointment, almost 9 in 10 (88%) said that they had enough information to help them make their decision
Catherine Davies, Executive Director, Co-operation and Competition at Monitor said:
We think it’s only right that patients are in the driving seat when it comes to making decisions that affect their health, and this shows us that GPs are continuing to have helpful conversations with patients and offering more choice. But there is still more the NHS can do to make sure patients are aware of their legal right to choose and are able to make a choice.
For example we have been working closely with local commissioners in Huddersfield who introduced choice in adult hearing services. We are helping them improve the information available to patients about their choices, so that local people with hearing loss understand the benefits different providers can offer them.
Monitor and NHS England will continue to support the sector to use these findings and increase the number of patients exercising their right to choose providers of healthcare.
Latest News from
First Seacole Centre opens doors as NHS expands COVID rehab services29/05/2020 13:15:00
Thousands of people are set to benefit from enhanced community services to help them recover from the long term effects of coronavirus, the head of the NHS said yesterday, as the first new dedicated rehab hospital received its first patients.
NHS England and NHS Improvement welcome publication of updated risk assessment guidance29/05/2020 12:15:00
NHS England and NHS Improvement has welcomed the publication of updated risk assessment guidance which provides practical measures to advance the way risk assessments are carried out for BAME, at risk and other vulnerable staff groups working across the NHS.
Millions of patients benefiting from remote consultations as family doctors respond to COVID-1929/05/2020 11:15:00
Millions of patients have been getting expert support from family doctors from the comfort of their own homes while the NHS responds to COVID-19.
NHS thanks Muslim staff working through Ramadan and urges care over Eid21/05/2020 17:17:17
NHS leaders have today thanked and commended Muslim staff and key healthcare workers for serving on the frontline and in supporting roles whilst fasting during the month of Ramadan.
NHS expands offer of help to people with diabetes during coronavirus outbreak21/05/2020 09:15:00
People living with diabetes face a significantly higher risk of dying with COVID-19 with a third of deaths in England associated with the condition, according to new NHS research.
NHS Roadmap To Safely Bring Back Routine Operations15/05/2020 12:25:00
Health leaders have set out a series of measures to help local hospitals plan to increase routine operations and treatment, while keeping the necessary capacity and capability to treat future coronavirus patients.
Public told ‘act FAST’ as NHS uses artificial intelligence to speed up stroke care15/05/2020 09:15:00
The NHS is urging anyone who thinks they or a loved one have symptoms of the killer condition not be put off seeking help because of coronavirus but to ‘act FAST’.
More nurses should be coronavirus legacy says NHS chief14/05/2020 09:15:00
Nursing degree courses should be expanded to capitalise on the surge in interest in NHS careers prompted by the coronavirus pandemic, NHS chief executive Sir Simon Stevens said recently (12 May 2020).