latest health care news

03.05.16

Nearly 40% of patients turned away from registering with GP

Nearly 40% of patients are being turned away from registering with a GP, with vulnerable groups such as immigrants and asylum seekers the most likely to be affected, according to a new report.

Doctors of the World, a Médecins sans Frontières programme, made 849 attempts to register patients with a GP, of which 331 (39%) were refused.

The most common grounds for refusal was no proof of ID (39%), followed by no proof of address (36%) and the appropriate staff member not being available. There were 42 patients who were turned away because their immigration status was queried.

Leigh Daynes, executive director of Doctors of the World, said: “This report highlights a significant and serious problem. Everyone living in the UK is entitled to free primary care, GPs are our frontline defence against poor public and personal ill-health. The early detection and treatment of illness by GPs is the most cost-effective and efficient means of managing health.”

The report also found that 31% of practices always refused patient registration, whereas 16% behaved inconsistently in when they registered patients.

It warned that the groups most likely to be affected included homeless people, asylum seekers, illegal immigrants, children, pregnant women, and victims of torture, trafficking, domestic and sexual violence.

Dr Steve Mowle, spokesperson for the Royal College of GPs, said: “The last thing we want is for patients to suffer – and be living in the community with potentially contagious diseases – because they have been unable to access healthcare. But we are aware of the barriers that vulnerable groups might face in doing so.”

He said that part of the better training for general practice reception staff, pledged as part of the GP Forward View, should include training on the legalities of who is allowed to access care.

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Comments

Linda   04/05/2016 at 13:49

We turn no one away unless they are abusive or aggressive while registering - and yes it does happen. Part of the problem is the multitude of messages mostly gibberish which are sent out around this subject - a bit of clarity is required - so zero chance of that happening then.

Retired GP   24/05/2016 at 20:11

A better headline would be more than two thirds of people who have never contributed to the cost of the NHS or seen for free. General practice is dying because of underfunding and overuse.

Anamzara   28/07/2016 at 19:07

Awesome post thanks for sharing this. http://www.insurancegala.com/hix-insurance/

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