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Consumers' organisation raises questions over choice in the NHS

BMJ 2005; 330 doi: (Published 31 March 2005) Cite this as: BMJ 2005;330:748
  1. Ann McGauran
  1. London

    The collective effect of individual choice carries grave risks, particularly in health care, where “payment by results”—the policy of allowing funding for each patient to follow his or her choice of provider—could lead to restrictions on access, says Which?, the United Kingdom's leading consumers' organisation.

    It adds that although it remains an advocate of choice it does not think that the choices on offer in key areas, including health care, are “right for consumers or framed in such a way as to meet desirable policy objectives.”

    The public will have a very limited role in deciding what choices are put before it, the organisation argues, “so there is no guarantee that the choices offered to patients at the end of the process will be the ones from which they want to choose.”

    It says that the government must create a …

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