Charging for services bid rejected by LMCs

GPs narrowly rejected calls to renegotiate regulations that prevent them from charging for supplementary services.

At present GPs are prevented from offering services such as flu jabs to patients who do not have an NHS entitlement, even if patients offer to pay. Instead they must direct them to other providers such as pharmacists or consultants.

‘Unless the rules are changes, practices will be the only body who can't charge for these services. This seems unfair," said Dr Diane Ackerley, from Surrey LMC

But following a lively debate, the GPC's Dr Ron Singer warned: ‘We've talked all morning about the privatization agenda. And here we are walking straight into something that promotes it.'

Conference narrowly voted in favour of a motion stating that GPs should be entitled to charge registered patients for clinically appropriate supplementary services. But it rejected calls for the GPC to negotiate a change in the rules, or consider a test case.

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