London Patient Choice Project
Research Associate: Dr Christina Petsoulas
Research Assistants: Juliet McDonnell (part-time); Sara Rundle-Smith
The Department of Health wishes to reduce NHS patient waiting times and resources have been made available to NHS London for the London Patient Choice Project to help achieve this in London. NHS London wishes to maximise patient choice in waiting list reduction through providing alternative services, which patients can choose whether or not to take up. It will commission extra capacity from a range of providers, which may include non-NHS (as well as NHS providers) and non-London providers (as well as London based providers). These providers will be given incentives through special contracts to bring new capacity on stream. This is a bold experiment addressing a major issue of health policy concern from which there should be national as well as London wide learning. NHS London has commissioned a three stranded evaluation of the project to cover: (i) the patient level; (ii) the system wide level; and (iii) the organisation and management of the programme. A team at the University of York (led by Diane Dawson) will examine the health systems/health economics aspects and a team at the Picker Institute, Oxford University (led by Angela Coulter) will be looking at patients' perceptions of the services they receive. The CPSO will be examining the organisational strand but will also liaise closely with the other strands. This is also a joint project with the Centre for Primary Care and Social Medicine in the IC Faculty of Medicine, as Professor George Freeman is a co-investigator.
This project ended (31 August 2004) and an article will be appearing in the January 2006 edition of Public Money and Management on the key supply side issues that emerged in London Choice.