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East Lancashire's patients opt for 'competitor' hospitals
10:25am Wednesday 28th August 2013 in News
AROUND a third of patients within a five-mile radius of the Royal Blackburn or Burnley General hospitals have been seen by the hospitals’ NHS ‘competitors’.
Figures for last year, published as part of the Keogh Report, suggest many patients have chosen, or been referred, to hospitals in Preston, Bury or Rochdale.
It said East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust (ELHT) had a 62 per cent ‘market share of inpatient activity’ for those living within five miles.
There is a national drive to allow more patients to choose which hospital they are referred to.
This could be a concern for ELHT, which was put into special measures by Sir Bruce Keogh last month, as more patients may choose to go elsewhere.
But Val Bertenshaw, director of operations, said: “Many of our local NHS providers are specialist centres for conditions such as cancer, renal disease and neurology which is why some patients will be referred into those services.
“Also, the trust’s planned expansion of trauma and orthopaedic services has seen a recent investment in new theatres and consultants, thereby reducing waiting times and enabling patients to choose ELHT for their care.”
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