HC Deb 26 February 2003 vol 400 c612W
Andy Burnham

To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will make a statement on the choice programme pilot scheme announced on 11 February. [99065]

Mr. Milburn

On the 11 February I announced a major set of initiatives to introduce more choice for patients into the National Health Service. I gave my hon. Friend an outline of the benefits for patients in Greater Manchester on 11 February,Official Report, column 752–753.

In Greater Manchester patients waiting six months for orthopaedic; ear, nose and throat; or general surgery will be able to choose to have their treatment in an alternative hospital. Around 3,400 patients are expected to be offered this choice.