23. May 2012 15:37
Patients will be able to choose where, when and how they receive some of the most common medical tests for the first time under new proposals from the Department of Health.
From April next year, individuals can select where they receive essential medical tests to make it more convenient for them after discussions with their GP.
Health Secretary Andrew Lansley said the plans are designed to make “medical tests work for you, not the system”.
Individuals will be able to choose from locations closer to home or work instead of being told where the nearest available option is. The decision will be made in partnership with their doctor, who will advise which option is most appropriate.
“Our NHS reforms are all about making life easier for patients,” Andrew Lansley commented.
“No two people are the same, and that’s why our plans will offer patients more personalised care, ensuring that ‘no decision about me is made without me.’”
The DH is also proposing a change to the system that GPs and patients use to choose which hospital they visit for treatment.
Choose and Book will include details on waiting times and provide patients and doctors a better sense of how long they may wait for treatment.
The proposal is part of the DH’s model of a shared decision-making process along the patient pathway.