Survey of GPs points to a health 'fast-track'
The practice of 'fast-tracking' patients of fund-holders into hospital beds and clinics is extensive and deliberate, says the Association of Community Health Councils of England and Wales in a report today. It has found 'strong evidence' of a two-tier hospital system.
One Midlands CHC obtained a hospital memorandum that listed priority patients as those who were clinically urgent, or belonged to GP fund-holders, or had waited for more than 11 months. One man in the South-east said he had been waiting 18 months for a knee operation while his son, with the same condition but with a fund-holding practice, was seen in eight weeks.
Brian Mawhinney, Minister for Health, said he viewed the findings with scepticism. 'I hope the association is not decrying the dramatic improvements in patient care delivered by GP fundholders,' he said. 'It is clearly right for hospitals with spare capacity to make services available. In all cases which have been brought to us with claims of a two-tier system we have discovered it is a case of extra services.'
Under the NHS reforms, GPs can elect to manage their own budgets entirely, paying hospitals and other providers of health care for the treatment each patient needs. These GPs negotiate their patient contracts with the hospitals. Many of these are advantageous.
Fund-holding and Access to Hospital Care; Association of Community Health Councils, 30 Drayton Park, London N5 1PB; pounds 3.
- 1 Forget 'The Dress': Here are five of the biggest news stories you might have missed
- 2 The black and blue dress: Makers considering a white and gold version
- 3 PornHub turns masturbation into energy in bid to save the planet
- 5 Saudi Muslim cleric claims the Earth is 'stationary' and the sun rotates around it
British are sexually uptight, dirty and drink too much – according to Spanish book
PornHub turns masturbation into energy in bid to save the planet
Ukraine crisis: Top Chinese diplomat backs Putin and says West should 'abandon zero-sum mentality'
White and gold or blue and black – what colour is the dress? An eyewitness gives a definitive answer
Saudi Muslim cleric claims the Earth is 'stationary' and the sun rotates around it
New theory could prove how life began and disprove God
This is what it's like to be dead, according to a guy who died for a bit
'Cash for access' scandal: Sir Malcolm Rifkind says 'unrealistic' for MPs to live on £67,000 salary
'Jihadi John': CAGE representative storms off Sky News accusing Kay Burley of Islamophobia
Ukip would cut billions from Scottish budget to fund English tax cuts
Russia's roadmap for annexing eastern Ukraine 'leaked from Vladimir Putin's office'
£9 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This role is based within a small family run ...
£28000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This Design and marketing agenc...
£46000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This property investment firm are lookin...
£18000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company specialises provid...