Maternity Services: Proof of Identity

Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered on 11th April 2019.

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Photo of Lyn Brown Lyn Brown Shadow Minister (Treasury)

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 26 March 2019 to Question 233538 on Maternity Services: Proof of Identity, what information his Department holds on whether people have (a) delayed seeking or (b) been deterred from seeking NHS services as a result of identification checking.

Photo of Stephen Hammond Stephen Hammond Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)

National Health Service staff do not have a legal obligation to check a patient’s identification and asking for, or providing, ID is not a requirement of the Charging Regulations.

The pilot that took place between May and October 2017, of which 19 trusts participated in trialled the effectiveness of asking for two forms of identification from patients in improving the identification of chargeable patients. The pilot considered, amongst other things, whether requesting two forms of identity deterred or prevented patients who did not have proof of identity documents but were entitled to NHS services free of charge from accessing healthcare.

A few cases were highlighted where overseas patients may have been deterred from accessing treatment due to the ID checking, although analysis of the available data did not show adverse impacts on cancellation and did not attend rates.

The Department does not hold any other information on whether people have delayed or deterred from seeking NHS services and there has been no further work on identification pilots undertaken by the Department.

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