Patients will travel 100 miles for better hospital care

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Hospital patients would be willing to travel up to 100 miles to ensure they could attend a hospital with a better infection record.

Employers who provide their staff with private medical coverage have previously indicated they wanted greater transparency around quality of care and it appears patients responding to the MindMetre survey agreed.

Three-quarters (76%) of the more than 2,000 respondents said if they learned that their hospital was a low performer on Healthcare Associated Infections (HCAI) they would insist their GP referred them to a hospital with a better record.

Of those, 83% would be happy to travel 20 miles to be treated in a hospital with a better HCAI reduction record, 62% would be happy to travel 50 miles, and half (48%) would be happy to travel 100 miles.

The research findings are particularly important following results from the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) private healthcare inquiry which will compel private hospitals and physicians to publish care data.

This also applies to private medical insurers who must direct patients to the resulting official website containing private hospital and consultant care quality data.

Last month the healthcare regulator the Care Quality Commission (CQC) also announced that private hospitals will be publicly rated from April 2015 - matching the existing demands put upon NHS hospitals.

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