Sunday, 15 July 2012

Charges start for Some NHS services in Sheffield


Sheffield councillors have reacted furiously to news that the NHS Walk-in Centre on Broad Lane in the city centre – which is managed by a private company - charges patients with whiplash injuries £25 for treatment.

As we reported previously (see below for more), the company – One Medicare – operates on a contract from NHS Sheffield which runs until 2016.

NHS Sheffield has so far declined to say how much the contract is worth.

Walkley councillor Ben Curran, who serves as chairman of the Central Community Assembly which covers the walk-in centre, has written to NHS bosses to complain about the “disgraceful” policy.

“It flies in the face of the basic NHS values of healthcare being provided free at the point of use.”

His colleague Labour's Coun Mary Lea, Sheffield's cabinet member for health, care and independent living, said she too was “very concerned” about the charge.

“Treatment is free under NHS principles and it is what we all expect. If this is going to be a trend under the health reforms this is a very worrying development,” she said.

Political opposition to the charging policy also came from Sheffield’s Liberal Democrats.

Shaffaq Mohammed, Leader of the Lib Dem Group on the council, said: “I’m appalled by the actions that have been taken and I’d like to thank Postcode Gazette for bringing this discovery to light.

“The NHS is founded on the basic principle that treatment is free at the point of use, so any deviation from that needs to be taken very seriously. I will be writing to NHS Sheffield to make my views clear.”

Interesting to note that Broad Lane is near the Sheffield Int'l College, which many overseas students, predominantly from China, attend; many live in the block where the walk-in centre is situated.

Walk in Centre In Sheffield to charge £25.00

UK Uncut

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