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Little evidence that increased choice and competition in the English National Health Service will benefit children and young people
  1. Dougal S Hargreaves,
  2. Russell M Viner
  1. General & Adolescent Paediatrics Unit, UCL Institute of Child Health, London, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Dougal S Hargreaves, General & Adolescent Paediatrics Unit, UCL Institute of Child Health, 30 Guilford St, London WC1N 3EH, UK; d.hargreaves{at}

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Government plans to increase choice and competition in the National Health Service (NHS) will be implemented from April 2012 and will affect services for all age groups. The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health and the NHS Confederation recently expressed concerns that this approach might impede integration and coordination of care for younger patients. They recommend that ‘the Any Qualified Provider policy should only be used for child healthcare services where there are clear benefits to patients’.1

In support of the reforms, the …

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  • Competing interests None.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.