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Patient choice and PBC incompatible


Patient choice and practice-based commissioning are not compatible, says a new report.

Patient choice and practice-based commissioning are not compatible, says a new report.

Conflict between the two flagship Government policies will arise because patients will often ignore GPs' decisions on how or where they should be treated, the joint report from the University of Birmingham Health Services Management Centre and NHS Alliance found.

The report, Commissioning in the Reformed NHS, added that clarity was needed on whether patients should be given a choice of primary care providers as well as hospitals.

Author Dr Judith Smith, senior lecturer at the Health Services Management Centre, said choice and PBC were not mutually exclusive, but safeguards were needed to manage potential conflicts of interest.

Dr Smith said: 'We've got to be careful how GPs reach these choices and to make patients more equal in that choice.'

Dr Richard More, a GP in Yeovil, Somerset, accused politicians of 'ducking the issue'.

He said: 'Patient choice embodies the thought you can have what you want and PBC implies you can have what we've got.'

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