A&E charging plan is 'unworkable'

Charging practices every time their patients make inappropriate trips to A&E is unworkable, according to GPC chairman Dr Laurence Buckman.

As revealed exclusively by GP last September, the government is considering charging practices every time one of their patients visits A&E because they cannot book an appointment with their GP (GP, 7 September).

In response to reports elsewhere last week, Dr Buckman said it was 'not a workable idea'.

'It would not be an incentive, it would be a punishment and work as a disincentive to work in areas with high A&E use,' he said.

Dr Buckman added that it would be a drain on resources, threatening the ongoing care of patients.

Liberal Democrat shadow health secretary Norman Lamb added that the government 'seems to be reintroducing (out-of-hours responsibilities) by the back door'.

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