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Unexplained variations in hospital admissions must be tackled, report says

BMJ 2011; 342 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.d2380 (Published 13 April 2011) Cite this as: BMJ 2011;342:d2380
  1. Matthew Limb
  1. 1London

The NHS must act urgently to tackle widespread variations in healthcare in England that are “persistent,” “unfair,” and “inefficient,” says a new analysis.

The study by the health think tank the King’s Fund highlights major differences between primary care trusts in rates of admission to hospital for many common operations.

It says that many patients are not getting the surgery they need, while others may be having operations from which they don’t benefit.

The study’s lead author, John Appleby, chief economist for health policy at the King’s Fund, said that the report confirmed decades of UK and international research showing “persistent and unwarranted” variations in healthcare in England.

He said, “Remedying this is urgent, given the need to improve quality of care while the NHS also grapples with the biggest productivity challenge in …

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