Future cost-analysis of charging migrants for hospital care

Ruth Atkinson made this Freedom of Information request to Department of Health and Social Care

This request has been closed to new correspondence from the public body. Contact us if you think it ought be re-opened.

The request was partially successful.

Dear Department of Health,

1. Is the Department considering running a cost analysis of NHS charging provisions* to NHS trusts** before extending them to emergency and primary care?

If YES:

2a. Which indicators will be included in the cost analysis: for example, employee salaries, overheads, etc?
2b. Will the analysis include compensation claims made against trusts for inappropriate charging under the NHS charging provisions*?
2c. What time frame will be included?
2d. When will the results be published?

If NO:

3a. In the absence of such data, how does the Department of Health intend to prove that NHS charging provisions are currently cost-effective and will be cost-effective in the future if extended into emergency and primary care?

DEFINITIONS
* NHS charging provisions:

The “NHS charging provisions” are—
(a) section 175 of the National Health Service Act 2006 (charges in respect of persons not ordinarily resident in Great Britain);
(b) section 124 of the National Health Service (Wales) Act 2006 (charges in respect of persons not ordinarily resident in Great Britain);
(c) section 98 of the National Health Service (Scotland) Act 1978 (charges in respect of persons not ordinarily resident in Great Britain);
(d) Article 42 of the Health and Personal Social Services (Northern Ireland) Order 1972 (S.I. 1972/1265 (N.I. 14)) (provision of services to persons not ordinarily resident in Northern Ireland)

**NHS trusts:

All trusts providing secondary care, including trusts, foundation trusts and equivalent foundation trusts.

Yours faithfully,

Ruth Atkinson

Do Not Reply,

Our ref: DE-1043605  

 

Dear Ms Atkinson,
 
Thank you for your correspondence of 21 July about future analysis of the
costs of charging migrants for hospital care.  I have been asked to reply.

 

The Freedom of Information Act only applies to recorded information such
as paper or electronic archive material.  As your correspondence asked for
general information, rather than requesting recorded information or
documentation, it did not fall under the provisions of the Act.

 

The Department of Health consulted on the extension of charging for
visitors and migrants’ use of NHS services between December 2015 and March
2016, and published an accompanying Impact Assessment that estimated the
costs and benefits of doing so.  The Department is now considering the
responses and the cost-benefit analysis.  The consultation document and
accompanying Impact Assessment can be found at:

 

www.gov.uk/government/consultations/over...

 

Information on the indicators used can also be found at the link above. 
The Impact Assessment considered the risk of inappropriate charging under
the NHS charging provisions.  It considered evidence from previous
experience of charging in the NHS and estimated the costs and benefits of
extending it over five years.

 

I hope this reply is helpful.

Yours sincerely,
 
Maxine Kocura
Ministerial Correspondence and Public Enquiries
Department of Health

 

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Dear Maxine at the Department of Health,

Thank you for this. The impact assessment, however, looks only at a hypothetical cost-benefit analysis of NHS charging provisions* within primary and emergency care.

My request was specifically about a cost-benefit analysis of NHS charging provisions* within "all trusts providing secondary care, including trusts, foundation trusts and equivalent foundation trusts".

Therefore, your response does not answer my question. Can I assume that:

The Department of Health has conducted NO cost-benefit analysis of NHS charging provisions* as currently applied with NHS Trusts providing secondary care? And does not plan to conduct one in the future?

Thank you for your assistance in this matter.

DEFINITIONS

* NHS charging provisions:

The “NHS charging provisions” are—
(a) section 175 of the National Health Service Act 2006 (charges in respect of persons not ordinarily resident in Great Britain);
(b) section 124 of the National Health Service (Wales) Act 2006 (charges in respect of persons not ordinarily resident in Great Britain);
(c) section 98 of the National Health Service (Scotland) Act 1978 (charges in respect of persons not ordinarily resident in Great Britain);
(d) Article 42 of the Health and Personal Social Services (Northern Ireland) Order 1972 (S.I. 1972/1265 (N.I. 14)) (provision of services to persons not ordinarily resident in Northern Ireland)

Yours faithfully,

Ruth Atkinson

Do Not Reply,

 

Our ref: DE-1047808  

 

Dear Ms Atkinson,
 
Thank you for your further correspondence of 25 August to Maxine Kocura
about future analysis of the costs of charging migrants for hospital care.
 I have been asked to reply.

 

I was sorry to read that you were dissatisfied with my colleague’s reply
of 18 August (our ref: DE-1043605).  However, there is little I can add to
that reply.  As that reply stated, the Department of Health consulted on
the extension of charging for visitors and migrants’ use of NHS services
between December 2015 and March 2016, and published an accompanying Impact
Assessment that estimated the costs and benefits of doing so.  The
Department is now considering the responses and the cost-benefit
analysis. 

 

More generally, the Government has been clear that hospitals must comply
with all applicable law and guidance in relation to the identification of
and collection of charges from overseas visitors.  Details of the
legislation and guidance can be found on the Government website at the
following link:

[1]https://www.gov.uk/government/publicatio...
regulations

Guidance from the Department makes it clear that providers may take
deposits or full payment from overseas visitors in advance of treatment.

 

It is the responsibility of hospital trusts and their clinical
commissioning groups to determine locally what ‘reasonable steps’ trusts
should be taking to identify overseas visitors that should be charged and
to collect the charges from them.

 

I hope this reply is helpful.

Yours sincerely,
 
Sherifa Rahman
Ministerial Correspondence and Public Enquiries
Department of Health

 

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