NHS patients \’should have a contract for their care\’ – Daily Mail

John Robertson, Daily Mail, 10 April 2009

Every Scottish patient should be given a legally binding NHS charter outlining the treatment they are entitled to receive, an influential think-tank said yesterday.

Reform Scotland also called for a radical overhaul of the NHS that would see it become more like the \’insruance based\’ health systems in other North European countries.

The group said its new report, Patient Power, was a response to evidence that Scotland still lags begind other comparable countries, despite a 55 per cent increase in public spending over the past decade.

The report also recommended scrapping national waiting list targets and running all hospitals as independent, not-for-profit trusts.

Report author Geoff Mawdsley said that the proposed charter went further than provisions in the Scottish Executive\’s Patients\’ Rights Bill because it defined entitlement to care, in the same way as in Sweden and the Netherlands.

Mr Mawdsley added: \’That should give patients a much wider range of choice and should mean we can get rid of performance management through targets and central control.\’

A Scottish Executive spokesman said: \’We are in the process of bringing forward a Patients\’ Rights Bill which will clearly articulate a Charter of Mutual Rights, which will set out how these rights will be delivered in practice.\’