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let'spractisein...Tunbridge Wells

GPs could give patients money to spend on their health care in any way they choose, under plans being considered by ministers.

Other moves set to be floated by the Government in a primary care White Paper later this year include for GPs or PCTs to commission blocks of care on behalf of patients.

Harry Cayton, Department of Health patient choice tsar, told Pulse the approach could see GPs giving patients with long-term conditions control over a budget. This could be based on the cost of drugs prescribed or the number of times they attended in the previous year.

'You could ask patients whether they think they get good value for money and whether they would spend it differently,' he said.

'It would give them more control over how resources were being spent and more understanding and responsibility for their health care.'

But Mr Cayton said there were ethical and political difficulties with the plan.

because giving patients a budget may be seen as compromising the principle of healthcare free at the point of delivery.

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