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Health bosses’ vow over free service at A&E

Blackpool Victoria Hospital

Blackpool Victoria Hospital

Blackpool health bosses say there are no plans to introduce fees to people who show up at A&E to tackle increasing pressures on the service.

It comes as one in three GPs in the country say they would support a £5 or £10 charge as a cost-effective way to stop people vising the Emergency Department when a GP service or pharmacist would be more appropriate.

The GPs were responding to a Doctors.net survey.

A spokesman at The Vic said Blackpool’s NHS Trust was supporting the Department of Health’s (DoH) position.

A DoH spokesman said: “Charging patients who use A&E goes against the founding principles of the NHS and there are no plans to introduce fees.

“We know radical action is needed to tackle pressures on A&E.

That’s why we recently agreed a new GP contract, backed by doctors across the country, which will mean better care for older people out of hospital.

“These changes are part of a longer-term plan to bring back the personal link with patients so GPs can focus on giving people the care they need and preventing unnecessary trips to hospital.”

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