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Independents' Day

Government to bin NHS targets in public policy relaunch

By Nigel Praities

Patients are set to be given six new entitlements to NHS treatment as part of the Government's relaunch of its public sector policy agenda later today.

In a speech this afternoon, the Prime Minister will sweep away centrally-based NHS targets – such as the 18-week wait rule – and instead give patients the right to certain standards of care.

The policy rehash is unlikely to contain many surprises, but patients will have the right to have health checks at 40 years with GPs and the guarantee of a two week wait for cancer referrals or be treated by private hospitals.

Speaking to The Independent newspaper this weekend, health secretary, Andy Burnham, said targets had become a ‘millstone' and had to be lifted. He outlined six new entitlements to NHS treatment, including:

*An operation within 18 weeks of patients first seeing their GP

*A free health check-up for all at the age of 40

*Treatment from an NHS dentist

*Die at home if they suffer from a long-term medical condition

*See a cancer specialist within two weeks

*Be treated in accident & emergency departments within four hours.

‘The pressure for continuing improvements will come from patients, not politicians; that is a fundamental change,' he told the newspaper.

More to follow...

18-week wait target to be culled in Government public service policy relaunch Gordon Brown visits polyclinic ahead of speech

Prime Minister Gordon Brown was at the Barkantine Centre in east London, one of the capital's first seven polyclinics, ahead of his keynote speech this afternoon.

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