This is an encouraging story about the new health bill legislation due to be announced today by the Department of Health.

It states that following the success of the scheme where patients receiving social care have their own budgets, where they can chose how and where to spend money on their care, the Government will be introducing the same system to the NHS.  Patients will be allocated a pot of money/voucher and then they can decide where they would like to receive their NHS care.

For NFR however, this does not go far enough.  Why should patients be restricted to choosing from NHS providers.  If this scheme is to work then patients must be allowed to purchase their care from NHS or independent sector institutions.  Therefore giving them real freedom of choice.