Thursday, April 24, 2008

Another Devolved Health Scandal

Via Valleys Mam:
An internal North Bristol NHS Trust memo is headed “urgent attention” and is addressed to all outpatient receptionists, ward receptionists, secretaries and staff who book in outpatients and list patients for surgery.

It said: “Please DO NOT book Welsh patients/residents with follow- up outpatient appointments and/or new outpatient appointments. DO NOT list Welsh patients/residents for surgery at NBT. “It is regret (sic) that NBT find it necessary to take this action that relates to the difficulty associated with non-payment for treatment provided to Welsh residents. “It is for these reasons only that this action has to be put in place to safeguard NBT financial position.”

Please, please can we have our National Health Service back?


The Aberdonian said...

Not totally sure what this is about. I know having worked within NHS Scotland bureaucracy that there is a system of internal payments between the four health services and may I say also with the Isle of Man.

I used to process prescriptions dispensed in Scotland so that pharmacists were paid for their services. There are (and even before devolution were) a different system of forms etc for prescriptions amongst the health services. The prescription form for a GP in Scotland I think was a GP10, in England and Wales an FP 10 and NI an HS1. There were other forms such as dentist prescriptions, nurses prescriptions, dispensing GP prescriptions etc.

The health board of the Scottish region where the drug was dispensed was billed by the pharmacist who in turn billed the Scottish NHS. If it was a non-Scottish prescription then NHS Scotland would bill the NHS in England or Wales or the Health Service of Northern Ireland. And occassionally the Department of Health on the Isle of Man so the money was passed up the line.

The NHS is a bit like a federation of health boards which go into national authorities which make up the NHS as a whole. It might be noted that some drugs are not available from health board to health board let alone between the various national authorities which make up the UK NHS "federation".

O'Neill said...

I wonder though if there is a difference between the publicly expressed policy and what is happening in individual hospitals- this was an internal communication after all, may be not for public consumption.