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NHS England to look into GP practice which set up private side clinic

NHS England is going to take ‘a hard look’ at NHS GP practices which also offer private appointments, its chief executive has said.

Speaking at today’s meeting of the NHS England board, held in public, Simon Stevens addressed reports on Dorset GPs offering charged-for appointments.

As Pulse reported earlier this week, partners at the Poole Road Medical Centre in Bournemouth have set up the Dorset Private GP service, which charges £80-145 for appointments.

NHS GP practices cannot charge their patients for services, and the GP practice clarifies that its private arm does not currently accept patients who are on its NHS practice list.

Mr Stevens said: ‘There have been reports this week of a practice in Dorset proposing to start offering private charged for appointments alongside its NHS appointments.

‘I think we want to be absolutely clear that it is not permissible for a practice to charge its own registered patients, and even the circumstances that have been described here look questionable.

‘So we’re going to take a very very hard look, as NHS England, at anybody proposing that kind of approach.’

The Dorset GPs said on their website that ‘sadly at current times the NHS restricts us from treating our own patients for GP services, but this may change soon so please keep in touch’.