Choose a GP plan will allow commuters choice, NHS review says

Commuters are to be able to register with a GP near work in a radical move designed to abolish rules on where patients can access health services, the Telegraph has reported.

Andy Burnham, the health secretary, is due to announce today that patients will have more choice over where they register to see doctors.

GP practices often refuse to take patients who live just 100 metres outside the catchment area, but the new rules would allow people to choose a GP anywhere in the country.

The idea was proposed in the review of the NHS led by Lord Darzi, a surgeon and until recently a junior health minister.

It has already raised questions about how home visits would be managed if patients were registerd with a surgery near work in a different catchment area, and prompted fears that good GP practices would be overwhelmed.

A Department of Health source told the Times that a consultation process would address all concerns, that the reforms would be advanced robustly and that “no blank cheques would be written” to win over opposition.

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