Abbots Langley woman scorns paid services on NHS website

An Abbots Langley woman fears a ‘sinister’ plot is being set in motion to shut down the NHS because a patient-facing website promotes paid appointments.

Eryl McNally made the discovery when she tried to book an appointment at her practice Vine House Health Center in Abbots Langley via the Patient Access website.

She found that it no longer offered appointments, but listed medical services people could pay for.

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Ms McNally, of Follett Drive, said: “I couldn’t make an appointment but a whole list of privately available treatments came up. There’s a little number sign next to the treatments.

“It’s easy to feel like the surgery is recommending you go private and pay.

“It’s more on the sinister side.”

A screenshot of the patient access page advertisement paid for treatments.

She continued: ‘I am very concerned that this is at the root of the problem and that patients are unknowingly being directed into private care in what is a national health service delivery.

Ms McNally, 80, said she was aware the feature was not in the hands of her medical practice, which she has attended for 56 years, but a choice of the Patient Access website, which is run by EMIS and endorsed by NHS England. .

She called on the website and the practices that use it to make it clear which services are available for free on the NHS.

Ms McNally added: ‘There is information at the top that says services are available on the NHS, but it is in very small print.

Watford Observer: Eryl McNally.Eryl McNally.

“The house of the vine is excellent. But I think all surgeries need to make it clear that they are not behind this promotion of private services.

A Vine House Health Center spokesperson said: ‘This happened due to an error in a third-party system used to manage online reservations.

“We are fixing this as soon as possible and we are sorry for the confusion caused.

“The NHS does not charge people to see a GP or receive treatment.”

An EMIS spokesperson said: ‘Patient Access is a portal for patients to search for NHS or non-NHS services that are openly available to them.

“Patient Access has provided online access to NHS GP appointment booking since 2005 and has recently been extended to allow patients to view and book services provided by local pharmacies and licensed private healthcare providers for offer choice.

“All non-NHS services are clearly marked as ‘services outside your GP practice’ to ensure that services must be paid for clearly so patients can make an informed choice.”

They added: “Each GP practice determines which appointment slots and how many appointments are available to book through patient access in order to best manage their practice workload and patient needs. for the region.”

NHS England has been approached for a response.

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