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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://dspace.lib.cranfield.ac.uk/handle/1826/766

Document Type: Report
Title: A local view of factors influencing patient choice
Authors: Isroliwala, Sabena
Wainwright, Charles E. R.
Sehdev, Kamal
Issue Date: 2004
Citation: Sabena Isroliwala, Charles Wainwright and Kamal Sehdev. A local view of factors influencing patient choice. Healthcare Management Research Group, Enterprise Integration, Cranfield University. September 2004.
Abstract: This report aims to deliver a local view on factors likely to influence Patient Choice. The findings represent coverage in selected parts of the Bedfordshire and the immediate surrounding counties. There were 22 GP practices and 29 GPs interviewed using quantitative and qualitative research methods. In addition, 11 patients falling under Bedfordshire and Heartlands PCT completed a questionnaire enabling a like-for-like comparison against the completed GP surveys. Variations existed in the quantitative findings between GP and patient expectations, with a pragmatic approach taken by GPs, believing waiting times and locality would be the key driving forces influencing Patient Choice of provider for elective surgery. In contrast, patients considered reputation or expertise to be far more important along with a clean and comfortable environment. Interviews with GPs highlighted further key points: • 78% of GPs refer 90% or more patients to the local hospital in the same county. The main reasons attributed to this is local hospital/close proximity followed by offering specialty and PCT contract. • If provided with greater choice, 68% of GPs said they were happy with the existing providers and would continue supporting local services. When probed on what criteria will be used to choose between future providers, reputation/specialty was the most commonly mentioned factor at 32% followed by local services at 29% and waiting list at 19%. Moreover, supporting comments demonstrated; i) A reluctance to use alternative trusts for specialties when little information existed. A few GPs commented on the relationship which had been established over many years and would be difficult to replicate under Patient Choice. ii) Many patients were perceived to be inadequate at making sense of such data on specialties and consultants; it was commented that disseminating such data would lead to confusion, incorrect decision making and ultimately a waste of time with the end approval returning to GPs. • The results of GP authority on patients was reaffirmed with many considering the desired empowering effect of giving choice to patients will fail to materialise. Just under half the GPs surveyed said Patient Choice will have no impact with under a third stating it will have a negative impact on patients. There was a consensus amongst GPs and patients alike on the potential influencing power of GPs on Patient Choice. However, the patient results revealed that hospital performance report, reputation of hospital/media reports and recommendation of GP or other health professional were of equal importance, ranking at third place. This may due to a biased sample coming from an Expert Patient group. Impact on GPs was assessed with 57% of practices believing Patient Choice will have negative repercussions with the booking system seen as extra work, taking time away from the allotted 10 minute consultation and once again returning to not knowing who the patient is being referred too. Overall, marketing in the NHS was seen as a good idea providing it served an informative purpose. It was interesting to observe the initial responses being negative followed by conditional positives. The idea around marketing serving to disseminate knowledge were supported with suggestions such as providing information on trusts, specialist units and consultants along with information on spare capacity and waiting times. Only 5% of practices surveyed said that marketing material would have a negative effect. The majority, 57% commented it would have a positive effect by raising awareness. GPs are happy to use local services with comparably short waiting times where good specialties are offered. If a trust has these offerings now and is able to continue with these offerings once Patient Choice has been launched in December 2005, minimal changes can be exp
URI: http://dspace.lib.cranfield.ac.uk/handle/1826/766
Appears in Collections:Healthcare Management Research Group Reports

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