Magazine article Public Finance

Hewitt Promises More Say for NHS Patients

Magazine article Public Finance

Hewitt Promises More Say for NHS Patients

Article excerpt

Health Secretary Patricia Hewitt has pledged to continue the market reforms in the NHS by opening further sectors to private sector competition and increasing patient 'voice' within the system.

'When we ask patients what they want from their health service, they tell us they want to be given a greater say over their treatment and they want to be treated with dignity and respect,' Hewitt told a Fabian Society gathering on July 20.

Yet the Healthcare Commission annual review, The state of healthcare 2005, published two days previously, revealed that the NHS still has some way to go' before it fulfils Hewitt s pledge to provide a 'patient-led' service.

Commission chief executive Anna Walker said: One thing that comes through our patient surveys very starkly is that once people have made their choice and they're in the system, they're simply not getting the information they need to take control of their own care. …

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