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Patient Choice Schemes

Volume 483: debated on Tuesday 18 November 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how the expansion of patient choice from April 2008 will specifically apply to mental health services; and if he will make a statement. (234778)

It is the Government's aim to offer choice to all patients, to provide a responsive and patient centred health service. Free Choice means the majority of patients referred to hospital will be able to choose where they wish to be treated. However, there are some services, including mental health, that currently fall outside the scope of Free Choice, as choice of hospital may not be appropriate.

For patients using these services, other choices or other ways to ensure services are more responsive will be required. The key issue for users of mental health services is providing greater choice of the type of treatment they receive, for example by increasing access to psychological therapies.

The Government are committed to giving people with mental health problems choice and a more personalised service, including making more information available about mental illness to help people manage their own care. In the last year, work has been ongoing both locally and nationally to increase the level of choice offered to people with mental health problems.