Hospitals that fail to meet patients’ expectations could have their funding slashed under the UK government’s plans to reform the NHS.
The public will also be given rights to minimum standards of treatment through a new health service constitution, the Prime Minister told MPs.
Gordon Brown said the proposals would mean that, for the first time, payments to NHS hospitals would be adjusted according to patient satisfaction and health outcomes.
The change could be a radical departure from the current payment-by-results system, where hospitals receive a set sum for every treatment they carry out.
Mr Brown said people would also be able to access more information, control “personal budgets” for treatment, and have greater say in major decisions by Primary Care Trusts.
The NHS Reform Bill will introduce a “comprehensive performance regime” to ensure “no healthcare provider falls below minimum standards”, he added.
Mr Brown told the Commons: “We will establish a constitution of the NHS that sets out what patients can expect to get from the health service including entitlements to minimum standards of access, quality and safety.”
He said the proposals, set out in the draft Queen’s Speech, would give people “real power and control” over local services.
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