National NHS policy has focused recently on the fact that not everyone in Britain is entitled to free NHS care. For example, many people who do not normally live in Britain are not entitled. NHS trusts have a legal obligation to identify patients who are not entitled to free NHS treatment and recover any charges for services provided.
But it's complicated. Some people such as armed forces members or war pensioners are entitled to NHS care. So are people who are victims of violence, including sexual or domestic violence. People with certain conditions, like TB, are entitled to free treatment.
Some NHS staff are concerned that some people - such as BAMER people or undocumented migrants - may fail to get the health care they need because they have worries about these policies.
Bart’s NHS Trust in line with other NHS trusts has to ensure that patients accessing its services are entitled to use the NHS. The trust are currently reviewing their overseas visitor policy in line with changes to the national policy. As part of this work they have been meeting local groups and community organisations that work to tackle health inequalities and support individuals accessing NHS services.
The trust is keen to mitigate the impact of the policy on any groups or individuals who may not be entitled to use the NHS services.
Abbas Mirza project implementation lead at the trust would be keen to hear from local groups about their views on the policy and how we could ensure that we continue to encourage people and local communities to use NHS services.
Abbas.Mirza@bartshealth.nhs.uk 07884 384115