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Choice Programme Pilot Scheme

Volume 400: debated on Wednesday 26 February 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will make a statement on the choice programme pilot scheme announced on 11 February. [99065]

On the 11 February I announced a major set of initiatives to introduce more choice for patients into the National Health Service. I gave my hon. Friend an outline of the benefits for patients in Greater Manchester on 11 February, Official Report, column 752–753.In Greater Manchester patients waiting six months for orthopaedic; ear, nose and throat; or general surgery will be able to choose to have their treatment in an alternative hospital. Around 3,400 patients are expected to be offered this choice.