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Choice study taken off NHS website

Department of Health-funded research that found no evidence its patient choice agenda improved care has been removed from an NHS website.

The study was published on the NHS Service Delivery Organisation's website in November with the department's logo attached. Its findings, first revealed by Pulse, included that wealthy and educated members of society were more likely to benefit from choice.

Despite the ability of patients to choose a hospital under Choose and Book, 'historical patterns of hospital use were likely to continue,' the study said.

A spokesman for the department said it had been removed because the summary paper reflected the personal view of the researcher and 'the actual research does not find that offering choice is misguided'.

Dr Hamish Meldrum, GPC chair, was surprised it had been removed: 'It was independent Government-commissioned research and it seemed to me very fair evidence of patient choice.'

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