Notes to editors
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The report Variations in health care: The good, the bad and the inexplicable, outlines differences in admission rates for several routine interventions by analysing the geographical variation in health care provision in the NHS in England. Thirty-six different procedures were selected for analysis because they were either:
- generally recognised to be clinically effective, or
- there is uncertainty regarding their intervention, and/or
- there are cost-effective alternatives available for conducting surgery – for example, treatment as a day case, rather than being admitted as an inpatient.
Evidence suggests that medical opinion and/or doctor preferences and attitudes have a substantial influence over which treatment patients will receive and are a major source of variation. Studies have also found that patients, if fully informed about their options, will often choose differently from their doctors and are less likely to elect for surgery than control groups.
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