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#GPnews: Labour says Pulse story shows 'intolerable reality of Tory NHS'

16:20 With all the talk about GPs offering more private services, and GPs in Northern Ireland set to charge patients for consultations, a cautionary tale comes to us from the Channel Islands.

According to the Guernsey Press, there are calls for increased competition among the island’s three GP practices, which all increased their fees for GP consultations from between 3.6% and 5.3% at the beginning of this year. The cost of a consultation is now close to £50.

BMA spokesperson Dr Brian Parkin said that costs were increasing and like any business the practices had to review expenses and viability annually.

Age Concern chair Dave Inglis said he was ‘disappointed’ with the increased charges since the pension has only increased by 0.8%.

12:00 Shadow health secretary Johnathan Ashworth has tweeted his reaction to the story:

11.25: There’s lots of reaction to Pulse’s story on LMC plans to develop new structures to enable GPs to carry out more private work in a bid to increase GP funding.

Dr Chaand Nagpaul, GPC chair emphasised that most GPs support treating patients without payment, saying: ‘All GP practices are contracted to provide free care to every patient irrespective of their financial ability to pay. This is a key cornerstone of the NHS, which the vast majority of doctors support.’

‘GPs are not allowed to charge their own patients for most private services even if these are not available on the NHS, including minor surgery procedures to some to remove benign lumps. This proposal, which is not fully developed, appears to seek to provide services outside of what GPs would usually provide to their patients as part of their NHS care.

‘Irrespective of this scheme and its aims, the immediate priority is for the Government to address the incredible pressure on GP services.’

A spokesperson from NHS England said: ‘All patients have a right to access high quality primary care services which are free at the point of delivery. Strict Safeguards are in place to ensure that GPs cannot charge patients for NHS services.’

9:30: The health news this morning is dominated by coverage of Pulse’s exclusive story on Oxfordshire LMC’s plans for GPs to take on more private work.

The story made the front page of the Times and was featured in the Guardian, the Mail, the Telegraph and the Sun.

You can read theoriginal here.

Seen something interesting? Email newsdesk@pulsetoday.co.uk or tweet @pulsetoday with the hashtag #GPnews

Readers' comments (1)

  • A spokesperson from NHS England said.."Strict Safeguards are in place to ensure that GPs cannot charge patients for NHS services."

    However secondary care consultants can fill their boots!

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