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Guidance on NHS patients who wish to pay for additional private care was published on 23rd March 2009, by the Department of Health. NHS organisations should not withdraw NHS care simply because a patient chooses to buy additional private care. If a patient seeks information on how to access a private treatment option, NHS doctors should provide them with full and accurate information about the private services they or their NHS organisation can provide.

This policy sets out the operational arrangements and responsibilities necessary for those patients wishing to undertake a co-payment pathway for their treatment. This Operational Policy should be read in conjunction with Richards Report (November 2008) and The Department of Health Guidance (March 2009).


Purpose and Scope of the Policy

This policy has been developed in response to recent DOH guidance. It is intended to ensure that all local patients who wish to use the copayment option, to access additional treatments not currently funded by the NHS, have fair and equitable access to such treatments, that clinical governance mechanisms are in place to ensure patient safety, and that there is no negative impact on the use and availability of local NHS resources including staff and facilities. As far as possible this policy has been designed to mirror similar policies in use in neighbouring Trusts.

Key points are that:

  • The Trust should not withdraw NHS care simply because a patient chooses to buy additional private care
  • Any additional private care must be delivered separately from NHS care
  • The NHS must never charge for NHS care or subsidise private care
  • Robust clinical governance mechanisms to ensure good communication, clarity of clinical responsibility, and patient safety at all times must be put in place to support the delivery of both the NHS and the copayment treatments.

The policy covers all NHS patients at Ashford and St Peter’s Hospital (ASPH) who wish to pay for treatments in addition to their NHS care .


Policy Details

Download: PDF version
Compiled by: Chief Pharmacist
Ratified by: Clinical Governance Committee
Date Ratified: Mar 2020
Date Issued: July 2020
Review Date: Mar 2022
Target Audience: Clinicians, Managers and other staff involved in planning and implemented care packages for patients
Contact name: Chief Pharmacist