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Evidence to the Department of Health Formal Review of 'The National Health Service (Charges to Overseas Visitors)

Prof Cornelius Katona

We have become increasingly concerned regarding the impact on our most vulnerable clients of ‘The National Health Service (Charges to Overseas Visitors) (Amendment) Regulations 2017’, particularly the extension of charging into community services and the requirement for relevant bodies to charge upfront for treatment that is not urgent or immediately necessary.

We believe the following case studies provide evidence of how these regulations are impacting negatively on the vulnerable individuals we work with by deterring and/or preventing them from accessing services that they need and are (more often than not) fully entitled to. Although we understand that the scope of the review is to examine the impact of regulations introduced on 23rd October 2017, we are aware that several trusts were involved in ‘piloting’ these regulations before this date. The evidence below spans a period of time before this date, but is nonetheless relevant in informing our forecast of the likely future impact on vulnerable groups such as our clients.