What are the implications for practices as a result of the contractual changes to identify overseas patients?
These changes were introduced from July 2017. They only apply to patients who are registering with your practice who have a non-UK issued EHIC or S1 form or who may be subject to the NHS (Charges to Overseas Visitors) Regulations 2015. These patients will be required to self-declare at the point of registration.
Practices will be provided with a revised GMS1 form to use, as well as a hard copy of a patient leaflet which will explain the rules and entitlements overseas patients have in accessing the NHS in England. Once a practice has manually recorded that the patient holds either a non-UK issued EHIC or a S1 form in the patient’s medical record, they will then need to send the form and supplementary questions to NHS Digital (for non-UK issued EHIC cards) or the Overseas Healthcare Team (for S1 forms) via email or post. Details will be provided shortly about how to do this. Although the form will identify other patients from overseas, practices are only required to send the forms for patients with a non-UK issued EHIC or a S1 form.
Under this system, the patient’s country of origin will be charged where relevant. Patients themselves will not be charged for general practice services, but as now, may be charged for some secondary care services.
New recurrent investment of £5 million will be added to global sum to support this requirement and the associated administrative workload.
Later in the year we will discuss with NHS England how an automated process could be introduced. These discussions will also include development of systems to automatically collect GP appointment data for these patients to better enable the cost recovery from their home countries.