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09
May

DH: Treatment will remain free


The Department of Health has reaffirmed that NHS treatment will remain free at the point of delivery and available according to clinical need.


In a statement issued on 8 May, the DH says: “The government is committed to the founding principle of the NHS, that treatment is free at the point of delivery and available according to clinical need rather than ability to pay. However, independent, voluntary and private organisations have always been part of NHS services. For example, most GPs are private contractors, and the medicines the NHS buys are manufactured by private companies. What people say matters to them most is the quality of care they receive and that they receive it free whenthey need it.”

The DH goes on to say that it believes competition between providers will be a means, not an end, to empower patients and staff. Key to this will be the new economicregulator, Monitor, to promote choice and competition.

It says patients will continue to have a choice of who provides their NHS services and providers from all sectors will continue to have a role in providing NHS services.

“The key criteria will be whether they can deliver the service to the standards set out in the National Standard Contract, whether they are registered with the Care Quality Commission, and whether they can deliver the service for the price the NHS is willing to pay,” it says

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