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Welsh Conservative Party bid to fine no-show hospital patients £10

GP leaders have opposed a proposal from the Conservative Party to fine patients referred to Welsh hospitals £10 if they do not go.

The party said the pledge, which comes ahead of next year’s Welsh Assembly elections, is a response to a report showing 1.2m hospital appointments were missed in the last three years at a cost of £60m a year.

The report, by the assembly’s public account committee, also showed that patients failed to show up for over one in every ten GP appointments in Wales.

A a BBC Wales poll from earlier this year showed eight in ten Welsh people would support fines for both missed GP and hospital appointments, however GP leaders said that issuing fines risked damaging the doctor patient relationship.

An RCGP spokesperson told the BBC: ‘Introducing a charge for appointments would fundamentally change one of the founding principles of general practice, that healthcare is free at the point of need.

‘Missed appointments can be frustrating but in many cases there are valid reasons for patients not being able to attend, and they can be warning signs that something more serious is wrong.’

It comes as UK health secretary Jeremy Hunt said last week that he has ‘no problem’ with the principle of charging patients for missed GP appointments.

Readers' comments (8)

  • Thanks for that RCGP. You'll be getting my resignation letter soon to your great Royal college, and I might consider rejoining once you start representing the views of the jobbing GP's in the country. Nice knowing you.

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  • Vinci Ho

    You see .
    Agent Hunt is clever . While he said it was difficult to implement practically , his conservative comrades in Wales are willing to exploit this as a mini manifesto for next year's assembly election. A 'good' way to test temperature of the water and try to win a mandate eventually.
    One thing I want to point out is this £10 is a penalty(like a parking ticket),not the price of an appointment . A penalty is imposed if somebody is convicted of an offence . How are you going to make that judgement is open to debate...,,,.

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  • As much as it chokes me to say it. I fully back the proposals to fine patinets. Just extend it to GP surgeries to, and ignore the RCGP.

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  • What a waste of time - 10 pounds is not even going to cover the cost of collecting the fines.

    Accidentally driving in a bus lane or parking too long. costs 40 to 100 pounds yet people still do it.

    Poor excuses I hear from patients for missing appointments shows how little they value them.

    Fine needs to be at least 50+ to make patients actually notice and ensure they attend. (Obviously excluding death - their own, or hospitalisation, or a GP note!)

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  • "Healthcare is free at the point of NEED". The important word here is NEED. Now how many of you have seen patients who have wasted perfectly good appointments for the most trivial of problems? No longer is it acceptable to have a cough or sore throat for a few hours without needing to see your GP. Why? Because it's free! Introduce a small consultation fee of 5 quid and all of a sudden appointments will become available for the genuinely ill. 15 quid for a DNA with no good reason. Problem solved.

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  • Go on Wales - show us it's do-able and let MRCGP bark. We've had enough of baby sitting an over-expecting population and time for patients to take some responsibility.

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  • John Glasspool

    Much as I like the idea, it wouldn't work: all of a sudden every feckless patient will claim their appointment letter never arrived.

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  • And the patients will want to complain every time the GP is late or their appointment is cancelled - god love them

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