Retailers such as Boots and Tesco or fast-food chains such as McDonald’s will be allowed to sponsor hospitals under new Government rules.
The Patient Choice rules will come into force on April 1, when patients’ right to choose where to go for treatment is due to extended to include any hospital in England that can meet the Department of Health’s quality and price.
Under these new rules, NHS Trusts will be able to advertise direct to patients and will also be allowed to use testimonials from celebrities because the Government has not put a cap on advertising spend (MW March 20). Hospitals will also be allowed to secure commercial sponsorship from supermarkets and high street stores, though deals with tobacco, alcohol or gambling companies will be excluded.
The NHS logo will be protected under the new rules, meaning that companies will not be allowed to put their names across the front of hospitals but Patient Choice will allow a brand name on the front of staff clothing.