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Warning over lure of 'policy tourism'

The Government risks falling for the lure of 'policy tourism' by buying in health care initiatives without properly considering whether they can work in the UK, according to a leading academic.

Professor Trevor Sheldon, professor of health services research at the University of York, warned the Government has spent millions on schemes originating in the US without exploring possibilities closer to home.

Professor Sheldon, who is funded by the NHS to assess health policy, said: 'We must resist being seduced into believing that some off-the-peg intervention in one country can be a panacea in another.

'Sometimes policy tourism results in the adoption of strategies where the evidence of benefit, even in the country where they have been bought or borrowed, is very slim.'

Professor Sheldon singled out the Government's flagship expert patient programme, which is being rolled out without proper evaluation.

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