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Patient Choice Schemes

Volume 458: debated on Tuesday 13 March 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) how the (a) budgets and (b) tariffs of the choose and book initiative were set; and what mechanisms are in place (i) to monitor, (ii) audit and (iii) and assess by (A) primary care trusts and (B) the Department; (123571)

(2) what (a) budgets have been set and (b) costs have been incurred for the choice and choose and book systems by each (i) primary care trust, (ii) acute trust and (iii) strategic health authority since its implementation.

The setting of local budgets and the monitoring of local costs for the implementation of choice and choose and book is a matter for local determination.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what mechanisms are in place to assess the value for money achieved by (a) Choose and Book, (b) Choice and (c) whole direct enhanced service system; (123615)

(2) what assessment she has made of (a) whether the significant benefits referred to in the answer of 13 June 2006, Official Report, columns 1153-54W, on the choose and book system, have been delivered and (b) the value for money provided by the choose and book system.

Work is under way in response to the recommendation in the National Audit Office’s June 2006 report “Department of Health: The National Programme for IT in the NHS” that an annual statement be published, quantifying the benefits delivered by all aspects of the programme, set against the costs incurred. The first statement is intended for publication in summer 2007.

A new independent research programme will be established this year to evaluate the impact of health reform, including choice, and feed into future policy development. In addition, regulatory and equality impact assessments are being carried out on choice policy in elective care.

There are no plans for a value for money study in respect of directed enhanced services.