Professor Sir Ian Gilmore, president of the Royal College of Physicians said: ‘The plans set out in the White Paper represent a welcome shift towards a greater focus on measuring health services on grounds of quality and outcomes rather than on activity and process targets. We are particularly pleased that the crucial role of national clinical audit will be strengthened and that GPs will again be able to refer patients to individual hospital specialists in line with the patient’s wishes”.
GP’s have always been known to be responsible as the ‘gate-keepers’ to the NHS with reference to their role to refer patients appropriately. The White Paper fundamentally describes how new policy will attach ‘accountability’ to that responsibility, and involve patients in the decision.
The new guidelines describe how more information on hospital performance will be available to inform choice, and clearly patients will also want more information on individual consultants and the latest treatment options. Nick Clegg says that the plan is for: “Patients to have more control”.
The Biggest Difference is Patient Information
The Chief Executive of The King’s Fund, Professor Chris Ham commented: ‘Today’s White Paper represents one of the biggest shake ups of the health system since the NHS was established. The ambitions it sets out for a more patient-focused, clinically-led NHS are the right ones”.