NHS seeks ad agency to raise NHS Choices profile

NHS.gifThe National Health Service is seeking an advertising agency to help raise the profile of the NHS Choices programme. The scheme allows patients in England to choose which hospital they receive treatment in.

It is understood that the brief for the agencies includes increasing general awareness of the programme and the NHS Choices website, which provides detailed information and statistics to help people make a decision on where to be treated.

It is dubbed as the greatest revolution in healthcare since the founding of the NHS. The Choices programme launched earlier this month.

Patients will also be able to use the NHS Choiceswebsite to compare the performance of the hospitals across the country, success rate of surgeons and howwell MRSA infections arecontrolled.

NHS Choices, which applies to treatment for anything from broken bones to open heart surgery, is intended to provide flexibility and convenience for patients while encouraging failing hospitals to improve their services.

Meanwhile, NHS providers are also gearing up for individual advertising campaigns to attract patients, as NHS Choices also allows the various Trusts to compete for patients (MW February 28). The NHS Trusts are expected to compete on issues such as cleanliness, waiting time, friendliness of staff and death rates.

NHS Choices followed the publication of the NHS Promotion Code earlier this year, following a consultation process that began in late2006 and was started by the former secretary of state for health Patricia Hewitt.

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