NHS targets to become a legal requirement

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Indy Lifestyle Online

HEALTH Waiting times for treatment on the NHS will be laid down in law, Andy Burnham, the Health Secretary, announced yesterday. Targets for emergency cancer referrals and non-urgent treatment are to be turned into legal rights under the NHS Constitution from 1 April. Mr Burnham also pledged to work with Marie Curie Cancer Care on developing a right for people to die at home if they wished. It came as the Tories called on the Government to scrap targets. Mr Burnham said legal rights for patients was supported by nine out of 10 people. Patients will have the right to start treatment by a consultant within 18 weeks of GP referral and be seen by a specialist within two weeks for suspected cancer. If this does not happen, the NHS will be legally obliged to take all reasonable steps to offer them a range of alternative providers. Everyone aged 40-74 will be entitled to an NHS Health Check every five years.

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