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Patients Choice Initiative

Volume 409: debated on Friday 18 July 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Health what information will be available to patients to enable them to take part in the patients' choice initiative. [112157]

Annual staffing costs (£)Staff employedFull-time managers involved in inspectionOverall full-time staff involved in inspectionTotal number of staff involved in inspectionsTotal pay costs of inspections (£)
1999–00592,000111141327230,756
2000–014,791,0002484442861,482,077
2001–0211,492,00033059621215,897,395
2002–03116,359,00033459691287,444,475
1 Pre audited figure
The rising costs are due to a large staff increase to undertake clinical governance reviews. CHI has completed 297 clinical governance reviews across a range of NHS bodies.The National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) was established in April 1999. It is a special health authority set up to give advice on best clinical practice to NHS clinicians, to those commissioning NHS services and to patients and carers. None of NICE'S work are involved in inspection work. The total staffing cost since 1999 is shown in the table.

Good quality information and effective support will be needed to enable patients to make informed choices. The Department of Health is examining the information patients and clinicians will need to inform patients' choice over the hospital or other healthcare provider where they are treated, and how to provide this information effectively. The Department is also considering the lessons from the London and coronary heart disease choice pilots which have employed patient care advisors to support patients in making their choice, including providing information about the choice on offer.Information currently available to patients include the star ratings for all hospitals, waiting times for outpatient, day case and in-patient treatment and the information available on individual provider websites.Information for patients will improve in the future as choice is extended to include convenience with regard to location and transport access and relevant clinical performance measures. Information that is currently available from a variety of sources will be gathered together, made available through the single entry point of nhs.uk, and will be easily accessible during the patient booking process.