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Drop in patients being offered hospital choice

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The number of patients who recalled being offered a choice of hospital for their first outpatient appointment has dipped by 2%, according to new Department of Health figures.

Only 45% of patients recalled being offered a choice when asked in the government’s May survey compared with 47% in March.

However, the number of patients who were aware they would be offered choice ahead of visiting their GP was up 2% to 45% in May compared to three months earlier.

In May two thirds of patients were also able to go to the hospital they wanted, while 24% had no preference and 8% were not able to attend the hospital of their choice.

The patient survey also found that 79% of patient were satisfied with how long they had to wait form the time their GP referred them to when they saw the hospital specialist.

The cleanliness of hospitals and low infection rates were selected most often by three-quarters of patient as an important factor when choosing a hospital.

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