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Arrangements for NHS patients receiving healthcare services through private healthcare arrangements

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Annex B
Areas for NHS Boards and Clinicians to Consider in Individual Circumstances

NHS Boards

  • NHS Boards should have a clear policy in place to deal with situations which may result in a patient requesting combined NHS and private healthcare including a medicine which is not available in the NHS.
  • Such a policy should cover any practical and operational arrangements such as the provision of facilities and staffing; identification and recovery of costs; management of indemnity and risk; handling complaints; and demonstrating how decisions are reached (see Annex C).
  • Any arrangements resulting from a local policy should be considered in the context of this guidance and in conjunction with the legislative framework including equality duties, and any other relevant standards and guidance relevant to the NHS.
  • There should be clear arrangements, including record keeping and documentation, for situations where patients may be referred or transferred between the NHS and private providers.

Clinicians

  • Clinicians should have regard to relevant legal, contractual, clinical or professional standards and requirements 2.
  • Arrangements should be in place to provide information to patients regarding the range of NHS treatment options available. Where a patient or their representative expresses an interest in obtaining care privately, clinicians should exercise judgement regarding the information they feel they can provide (in the context of any relevant professional guidance) and the appropriateness of engaging in such a discussion. Clinicians may wish to offer patients advice regarding other sources of information (including referral to clinical colleagues; or information from within the NHS Board).
  • Any training and development needs regarding the handling and management of these arrangements should be addressed through established appraisal and development arrangements.