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Should we give patients their own budgets?

sam burrows and kate woolland | the times | 3 september 2015

Letter to the editor 

Sir, 

News that patients are spending public money on items such as game consoles and music lessons may sound profligate but it may actually represent a sound investment of NHS money by preventing far more costly hospital stays. The cost of a games console, exercise board for someone with respiratory rehabilitation needs, or music lessons for a patient with a mental health condition, is a mere drop in the ocean compared with the alternative hospital treatments.

Rather than demonising patients and clinical leaders for searching for brave alternatives to the status quo, we should encourage this kind of innovative thinking to help the NHS to meet its £22 billion funding gap.

Sam Burrows and Kate Woolland are healthcare experts at PA Consulting Group 

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