More Treatment Choice For UK's North West Patients

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Patient Waiting Times

Patients in the North West will soon benefit from faster waiting times and more choice about where they can be treated, thanks to a new partnership with the independent sector.

As part of reforms to deliver a patient-led NHS and to meet targets to cut waiting times by 2008, the Department has involved the independent sector in delivering health services. These services are run by the independent sector, but funded by the NHS.

The Department has signed a contract with to BUPA to provide approximately 6,000 NHS procedures a year across the region, including general surgery, gynaecology, neurosurgery, orthopaedics, ear, nose & throat surgery and plastic surgery.

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Health Minister Andy Burnham, said:

"The extra facilities this agreement will provide for the Cheshire and Merseyside communities demonstrates our commitment that, by 2008, no-one will wait more than 18 weeks for an operation, from referral to treatment. The facilities will provide ease of access for NHS patients to services and minimise patient travel time across the region. These services will be of the high quality which all NHS patients expect and will still be free at the point of need."

The first patient referrals to the services provided are expected in May 2007, with the first patient treatments expected in June.

Facilities for treatment will be provided at a number of sites, including hospitals in Manchester, Warrington, the Wirral, Liverpool, Macclesfield, Wrexham and Crewe.

Mike Farrar, Chief Executive of North West Strategic Health Authority, said:

"This is a welcome addition to the services we already provide to our patients and will further ensure that we offer the very best levels of care."

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