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The first national evaluation of the booked admissions system for hospital appointments has cast doubts over the feasibility and timing of the airline-style booking system for patients.
The NHS Plan pledged that the system would be in place by 2005 but the evaluation's lead author Professor Chris Ham, professor of health policy and management at Birmingham University, believes lessons need to be learned if the NHS is to meet this target.
Last week, the DoH made the pledge of booking admissions by 2005 a performance target for the NHS, as part of the price to be paid for its pounds 19 billion share of the Budget. However, the study of the first 24 pilots by …