We have introduced a new scheme to ensure that overseas visitors pay for their treatment.
In line with national legislation, we’ve launched a ‘deposit’ payment system, with overseas visitors asked to pay for their treatment before they receive it.
Director of Finance Jeff Buggle said: “We know that many overseas visitors who are not eligible for free care have been using our services.
“We need to ensure that our resources are spent on those patients who are eligible for NHS care and we must also comply with the rules set down by the Department of Health.”
If we suspect that a patient may not live in this country, they will be asked to prove their residency.
If they are not entitled to free NHS care they will be asked to pay in advance for their treatment. If they refuse to pay, their consultant will decide whether to discharge them, freeing up capacity for other patients.
Maternity services, and treatment which the doctor or nurse thinks is immediately necessary or urgent will never be withheld, but deposit charges will still apply and the patient will receive an invoice after their treatment.
We are also implementing a process where all patients who seek any form of treatment, either urgent or non-urgent, will be asked to confirm their country of residence.
“The safety of patients is always our top priority, but we also have a legal obligation to seek payment for those not eligible for free NHS care,” added Jeff.