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More people to take out private medical cover following NHS 'postcode lottery' revelations?

Published on 26/11/2010
People in some areas of England may be tempted to take out private medical cover following the release of statistics revealing in detail the NHS 'postcode lottery'.

The Department of Health has published the new NHS Atlas of Variation, which reveals the discrepancies between NHS care in different parts of the country.

It includes healthcare maps that allow patients to see how well each area performs.

The report shows that there is a great deal of variation in how much different NHS Trusts spend on treating different illnesses, even when varying demographics, such as age and wealth, are taken into account.

For example, the amount trusts spend on cancer varies from more than £40,000 per 1,000 people in some areas, to less than £20,000 in others.

High spending regions included Norfolk, Devon, Suffolk, Lincolnshire, Yorkshire, Cambridgeshire and Northumberland, while London, Durham and Derbyshire were among the low spenders.

Health Minister Lord Howe said he hoped the maps would help improve the consistency of NHS services across the country.

"I welcome the publication of the NHS Atlas. In order to improve unwarranted variations in services, it is vital to expose existing flaws in the system," he said.
© ActiveQuote Ltd. 2010

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