Charges proposed for out-of-hours GP appointments in England

Patients could face paying their family doctors for out-of-hours appointments and minor procedures that fall outside the surgery’s contracted NHS work, under new plans being proposed by some GP leaders.

The scheme would see doctors use their own time to treat and charge patients and involve the setting up of a third-party company to manage the payments to GPs.

Dr Prit Buttar, leader of Oxfordshire’s local medical committee (LMC), told Pulse magazine there had been discussions with LMCs across England about rolling out the system nationally by the end of 2017.

The move is driven by anger among GPs about the amount of money put forward for general practice by the government. Buttar said it was essential to look at alternative ways of funding that allowed practices to still operate within the rules.

Full story in The Guardian 25 January 2017