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NHS cuts could harm doctor-patient relationship

NHS cuts could harm doctor-patient relationship
16th January 2012

Deep governmental cuts to the NHS could damage the doctor-patient relationship, according to one expert.

Professor Paul Symonds, University of Leicester researcher, claims that if measures to become more cost effective are not carefully considered then the high level of doctor-patient trust and confidence that has developed over recent years could be harmed.

Focusing specifically on cancer care in the UK, professor Symonds elaborated on the importance of close clinical relationships to help patients cope better with treatment and diagnosis.

"It is widely accepted that low trust between a cancer patient and their doctor can influence treatment outcome," he said.

However, cutting costs can damage patient trust in NHS services overall, as has happened in the US.

The research follows reports that four out of five doctors have seen patient care suffer as a result of health service cuts during 2011.

In research conducted for the Guardian, doctors claimed that hospital bed closures, pressure to give patients cheaper drugs and cuts to occupational health support, among others, have reduced the levels of care in the NHS.

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