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Headline

Practices checking patients' migration status takes '30 minutes work per month'

Comment

I've spent more than 2 hours on trying to find out why my patient who was seen three weeks ago non- pregnant with joint problems gave birth in the north of England 3 weeks later. Called the 'patient' and she confirmed is registered with us but living in a different county for 3 year. Next I know my non-pregnant patient - with same name, dob, nhs nr books an appointment for joint problems review. She's been checked by Police and found to be genuine too. Life is a bit more complicated that just doing a routine check. How far do you go in your scrutiny. How many of us have faced a situation where a person with a foreign passport has come in with a solicitor's letter saying his name has now been changed. Am I really able to check whether he is on Interpol's list for war crimes. How do you check a lady arrived from Timbuktoo pregnant and vanishes after childbirth from the country and you are unable to do childhood vacs. Will this child now entitled to British citizenship, crop up after 20 years seeking a passport? Or of the lady that calls from abroad saying she needs a letter for job centre confirming that she is living at a certain address with which she is registered in the Surgery although she or children haven't been seen for 2 years - she needs this to get child benefits. Life is too complicated and id checks are not for GPs. It is unwise to leave it to the hands of overworked GPs to police and the repercussions for the country can be significant over the decades.

Posted date

08 Dec 2015

Posted time

11:53am

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