Mr. Harry Green way
To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps he is taking to enable patients to cross district health authority boundaries for treatment in authority areas other than their own, where their own authority cannot provide the treatment concerned; and if he will make a statement.384W
§ Mrs. Virginia Bottomley
GPs are free to refer patients to the consultant of their choice, and consultants are free to refuse or accept such referrals. Sometimes referrals are not accepted when they involve patients from outside the health authority boundary for whom the authority is not remunerated.
Proposals in the White Paper "Working for Patients" will make it easier for patients to get treatment outside their home district if they choose to do so. Districts will ignore administrative boundaries in ensuring that a comprehensive range of high quality services is available to their population. Money will follow the patient so that all hospitals will have an incentive to offer their services widely. The most popular hospitals that attract patients by the quality of their care will be rewarded. The effect will be to give patients greater choice and better access to the highest standards of service.