Press release

The public wants more choice of NHS care

A new patient survey say the public wants more say and greater choice over their NHS healthcare

The public wants more say and greater choice over their NHS healthcare according to a new patient survey carried out by an independent research company on behalf of the Department of Health.

The new survey of 5,000 people reveals that over 80 per cent of patients want more choice over how and where they are treated in the NHS and nearly three quarters of patients want more choice in who provides their hospital care.

Full results of the survey show that:

  • 80.88 per cent of respondents want more choice in where they are treated in the NHS
  • 78.62 per cent of respondents want more choice in how they are treated in the NHS
  • 49.52 per cent of respondents were not aware that they can choose which hospital to go to for non-emergency treatment
  • 74.88 per cent of respondents wanted a choice over which hospital consultant is in charge of their care
  • 74.62 per cent of respondents wanted a choice over which hospital consultant is in charge over their children’s care.

Women and older people in particular want to see more patient choice in the NHS. Nine out of 10 people over the age of 55 want to have a greater say in how and where they are treated.

Under the government’s modernisation plans, patients will be able to choose, not only where, but which NHS consultant team provides their hospital care.

Health Secretary Andrew Lansley said:

“This is clear evidence that patients want more choice and control over their healthcare, which is exactly what our plans to modernise the NHS are all about. Patients no longer want to settle for second best - they want what’s best for them and their families and they don’t want to be restricted by geographical boundaries or bureaucratic rules.

“Patient choice in the NHS has been very limited, but that is about to change. We want to see a health service that works around patients - not the other way around. The NHS should be there to serve patients and the public - not vested interests. That’s why we’re modernising the NHS and improving patient choice.”

ENDS

NOTES TO EDITORS

  1. For more information please contact the Department of Health press office on 020 7210 5221.

  2. One Poll carried out the survey using a representative sample of 5,000 people in England. The fieldwork was carried out on 3 and 4 October 2011.

  3. The survey results were put together from an online survey gathered from panel members that span from all major cities and regions within the UK, covering all ages, income groups, attitudes and behaviours to represent a cross section of opinions.

  4. The survey was commissioned as part of the Department of Health’s ongoing opinion research which seeks to understand people’s views and attitudes towards health and NHS issues.

  5. The full survey results are:

• When asked: Do you agree with the following statement: “I would like to be given more choice over HOW I am treated on the NHS”? 78.62 per cent said Yes and 21.38 per cent said No.

• When asked: Do you agree with the following statement: “I would like more choice over WHERE I am treated on the NHS?” 80.88 per cent said Yes and 19.12 per cent said No.

• When asked: “Are you aware that you can choose which hospital you go to for non-emergency treatment?” 49.52 per cent said Yes and 50.48 per cent said No.

• When asked: “Do you agree with the following statement: “I would like a choice over which hospital consultant is in charge of my care?” 74.88 per cent said Yes and 25.12 per cent said No.

• When asked: “If your child needed non-urgent care, would you want to be able to choose which hospital consultant was in charge of their care?” 74.62 per cent said Yes and 25.38 per cent said No.

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