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Prime minister proposes legal guarantees for patients to be treated within target times

BMJ 2009; 339 doi: (Published 11 November 2009) Cite this as: BMJ 2009;339:b4699
  1. Zosia Kmietowicz
  1. 1London

    Patients in England could be given the legal right to be treated privately if the NHS cannot provide the care they need within target times set by the government, the prime minister, Gordon Brown, has said.

    Proposals for new patient rights in the NHS constitution will mean that from 1 April 2010 patients will have the legal right to start treatment by a consultant within 18 weeks of referral by their GP and to be seen by a cancer specialist within two weeks of referral. If the NHS is unable to meet these commitments it will have to find an alternative provider, which could include private providers, who would treat patients at NHS prices. …

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