Putting Patients FirstJoe Segen2016-12-04T23:57:04+00:00
Putting Patients First
A slogan of the “new” NHS, which is intended to bury the widely extant paternalistic view of patient management and give patients a choice in life and death matters.
What follows is the PPF fluff from the DoH…I was going to edit it, but lost the will to live
Since the beginning of 2006, patients in England have had the right to choose between at least four hospitals for their non-emergency treatment. People should have a good local service. But they may want to choose to go somewhere else for treatment, for instance, they may want to travel further to be treated by a hospital with shorter waiting times, or they may prefer another service if it is closer to where their family live or it has a better record of cleanliness.
Yet giving patients more choice and control over where they go for their hospital care isn’t just about giving people better one-off experiences in the NHS. This is important, but it’s not the whole vision. Changes to the way treatment is paid for will mean money follows each patient to the hospital or service they choose.
Patients won’t choose services where they have to put up with long waits, insufficient information and disjointed care. They will choose services that have the best clinical standards; services that put their needs first; listen to what they have to say; explain what their care will entail; and make every effort to ensure it runs smoothly without irritating duplications and delays.
So, as patients no longer have to make do with whatever is available locally, there’s a powerful new incentive for care providers (hospitals, treatment centres, community clinics, GPs and others) to build and maintain the highest quality services. The onus will also be on involving patients and local communities at each stage to ensure services always reflect what people want. These health reforms will make sure staff have the freedom, support and motivation to make existing services better, and develop new services.
It’s about using the patient’s power of choice to create a health system that is designed to improve itself, not only because it has to meet the high standards set by the Government, but because it needs to create the sort of services local people want and expect – the sort of services they will choose to use. Better information for everyone.
To make the right choices about their care, patients need to receive better information about the services on offer. Not just how good the clinical care is at a particular hospital, but how clean its wards are and whether it has, amongst other things, a good canteen and ample parking. Also, professionals in primary care will need better information about the health of local populations and what patients think when buying or providing services. This will ensure that local decisions about services fully reflect the health needs and preferences of local people.