NHS patients are being offered the chance to jump the queue to see a GP weeks earlier – if they pay for it.
Touchscreen advertising within NHS practices is offering patients facing waits of almost a month a same-day appointment for £39.
Charities last night said it was “unacceptable” for patients to be being diverted to fee-paying services in order to get essential care.
Labour seized on the scheme as “shocking” evidence that the health service was moving towards a “two-tier” system, where only those who could pay upfront could get the care needed.
One patient of an NHS practice in East London said he went to his GP practice in search of an appointment, only to be told he faced a wait of up to six weeks.
However, touchscreens near the entrance to the NHS reception area, run by a private company, urge all patients to “See a doctor here today” – with appointments available on the same premises..
Full story in The Telegraph, 28 May 2017