Expert Highlights Patients’ Fears Over Postcode Lottery

New System 'Could Cause More Worry'

04.11.2010

An expert at Irwin Mitchell has warned that patients have major fears over facing a postcode lottery in relation to their care.

Sarah Head, who specialises in health and social care policy, made the comment after the Yorkshire Post revealed GP Dr Richard Vautrey warned that an overhaul in health services could lead to confusion.

Coalition proposals would see doctors given more control over the provision of services – a move which Irwin Mitchell’s specialist warned could have major consequences for patients suffering from certain conditions.

She explained: “We are already seeing Primary Care Trusts refusing to fund IVF treatment and back pain clinics in attempts to cut back on end of year overspends.

“It is likely the new, fragmented system will cause more worry when patients with relatively uncommon conditions such as multiple sclerosis and Parkinson’s disease have no local support because their GPs have too few patients to make it worthwhile commissioning a comprehensive service. “

Ms Head added that this in turn could lead to action, explaining: “We have seen patients having to take legal steps to secure NHS funded treatment in the past. Fighting to receive such treatment from the NHS is the last thing patients want to do when they are at their most vulnerable.”