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News archive - June/July 2012

Private option for patients who face a long wait

Private option for patients who face a long wait

PATIENTS who have to wait more than 18 weeks for NHS care could be offered private treatment under new Government plans.

The new treatment choice is part of an NHS mandate which will set out the standards of care that patients can expect. Health Secretary Andrew Lansley said the option could help tens of thousands of people who currently have to wait more than 18 weeks for non-urgent operations. He explained: “In the last year the NHS has reduced the number of people waiting longer than 18 weeks for treatment to a record low, which is a great achievement. However, we are not complacent and have already challenged the NHS to keep on improving.

“We want those waiting times to come down even further so we are asking the NHS to identify how best to offer patients who run the risk of waiting a long time an alternative hospital to get their treatment.”

Patients diagnosed with cancer will also have the right to a consultation with an alternative provider if they have to wait more than two weeks for treatment on the NHS.

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