Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Choose Your Hospital !

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Choose Your Hospital !

Article excerpt

Byline: By Louise Redvers

Changes in the way we are treated in hospital are about to revolutionise health care in the North East

Patients will soon be able to choose where and when they have their operation in a bid to cut waiting lists and make appointment times more convenient.

From December next year GPs will offer people a tariff of four or five places for treatment.

The tariff will comprise NHS and private hospitals and treatment centres from around Northumberland, Tyne & Wear and County Durham.

Pam McDougall, North Tyneside primary care chief executive and chairman of the region's Choice Implementation Board, said: "This is about giving patients the best care that's most appropriate to them.

"Some people might just want to stick with their local hospital because it's nearby and they're familiar with the bus routes.

"But other people might want to get the surgery out of the way and don't mind travelling a bit further to have it.

"It's about fitting into what people want and what's most convenient for them, and generally making the health service work more around the patient.

"There will also be more scope for specifying appointment times instead of being given a slot and having to accept it.

"Information is key here and we'll be working with different groups to make sure everyone knows about how to choose and how to choose what's best for them. …

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