2023-01-25 15:33:19

NHS safety watchdog sends warning over charging for GP appointments

Logo The Independent
The Independent
By Rebecca Thomas

Charging for GP appointments will worsen patient safety and drive more people to A&E, the head of a national safety watchdog has warned.

Dr Rosie Benneyworth, the chief investigator for the Healthcare Safety Investigation Branch, was responding to a suggestion by former health secretary Sajid Javid who said the present model of the NHS was unsustainable.

He said extending the contributory principle should be part of radical reforms to tackle growing waiting times.

But Dr Benneyworth said it would only drive more people to seek help from already overstretched services.

She said: I dont want to be drawn into the politics around this but I believe in free at the point of delivery NHS and my concern would be [if] we charge people that people would not come forward early for their care and that would leave people needing more urgent and emergency care, because of delayed presentations.

But Dr Benneyworth, who was formerly chief inspector of hospitals for the Care Quality Commission said it was a myth that patients not accessing GP appointments had worsened safety in A&Es.

Continue read on independent.co.uk

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