Another day, another report telling us that the government has wasted £43bn of taxpayers' money on the NHS. This time the source is... the patients themselves! And not just a few disgruntled ones either. 1.4 million of them were surveyed!
The Picker Institute, a health research charity, found 48% of hospital patients were not as involved as they wanted to be in decisions about their care. The proportion had not changed since 2004 - despite increases in spending of £43bn. The proportion of patients saying they were given enough information about the side effects of medicines actually fell from 61% in 2004 to 58% in 2006. The government spokesman was wheeled out by the Department for Health to comment. He said "We take the views of patients extremely seriously, and have put their needs at the centre of our health service reform. Only this week, the health minister Lord Darzi hosted a series of engagement events across the country as part of his NHS review." So, you badly invest £43bn of our money and then listen to what the patients want? Haven't you got your processes back to front here?