Headlines: June 28th, 2001

The Government should re-educate the patient not to expect the NHS to operate like a supermarket where they can expect to access everything on the shelves, according to centre-left think tank the IPPR.The IPPR (Institute for Public Policy Research), gives two reasons for this.

The first is pragmatic. It says that as the cost of healthcare rises, the gap between what patients want and what they are likely to get will widen further and lead to disillusionment.

The second is that many of the more recent advances in healthcare thinking will not be capitalised upon unless patients take the initiative themselves to be involved in their own health. Examples of these are over the counter availability of more drugs, new technologies like telemedicine and portable monitors and diagnostic equipment.

In a new report, The Future Patient, to be debated at a conference in central London today (Thursday 28th), it says such a change will require a fundamental attitude shift from politicians, professionals and patients alike.

The Future Patient (7.50 pounds) is published by IPPR and is available from Central Books on 020 8986 5488.

Link: www.ippr.org.uk