Caring for patients not eligible for free NHS care | Our news

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Caring for patients not eligible for free NHS care

We take pride in providing vital care to all our patients. Like all NHS trusts we have a responsibility to recover costs from those not eligible for free NHS care but if you need urgent or emergency treatment you will always be treated in a timely way and we will not turn you away. We do our best to help all patients understand their and our obligations around payment.

Like all NHS trusts we have been doing this for many years. However, our historic practice has not been systematic and has risked being inconsistently applied, so we are taking several steps to establish clearer, consistent and equitable practice across our hospitals. This includes undertaking a full equalities impact assessment. Charging patients not eligible for free NHS care - May 2019[pdf] 139KB

Last year we were also asked to take part in a national pilot in two departments to test if we could more easily assess eligibility and be able to explain the payment process to non-eligible patients earlier on in their care. We did not turn any patients away, and no patient visiting our hospitals had care delayed. These pilots have now ended and we have stopped asking patients for the two forms of ID that were requested during this period.

We will continue to work with our staff and our communities to make the application of national guidelines in our hospitals as consistent, fair and equitable as possible.

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