Maternity services at St George’s
There is extensive coverage in the media today about potential changes to the way we look after patients from overseas who access our maternity services at St George’s.
We want to briefly explain what changes are being proposed, and the steps we are taking to ensure patients continue to receive the care and treatment they need.
Like many Trusts, we treat a high number of patients from overseas who are not eligible for NHS treatment.
Of course, all patients in need of emergency NHS are treated and prioritised accordingly, regardless of their eligibility.
Our priority at all times is to provide care and treatment to patients accessing our services. However, we also have a duty to ensure we use our resources wisely.
What are we proposing?
Hospitals are required to check patients for their eligibility when accessing non-emergency NHS treatment. We are not doing this effectively enough at present, and are looking at ways in which we can improve this.
We are proposing that every non-emergency patient accessing maternity treatment is asked to show a form of photo ID, or proof of their right to remain in the UK. Any patient who is unable to do this would be referred to our Overseas Patient Team for specialist document screening.
This would be trialled as a pilot study at St George’s. We will shortly agree a start date for the study, although further work needs to be undertaken to look at the practical and logistical challenges involved.
We will provide further information about the pilot study in due course. However, for the time being, there is no change to the way overseas patients are managed at St George’s, although national guidelines still apply, and we will always adhere to them.
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