Trust plans to ask pregnant women for photo ID before accessing maternity services

BMJ 2016; 355 doi: (Published 13 October 2016) Cite this as: BMJ 2016;355:i5550
  1. Ingrid Torjesen
  1. London

All pregnant women wanting to book in for maternity services at St George’s University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust will have to produce proof of their eligibility for free NHS care under a pilot scheme planned by the financially challenged trust. If the pilot study is successful it will be rolled out to other services across the hospital.

The scheme, outlined in the trust’s October board papers, would require women to produce photo ID, such as a passport or proof of their right to remain in the UK (visa, proof of asylum status), and a current utility bill, before receiving care.1 Any woman not able to prove eligibility would be referred to the Overseas Patient Team for further investigation.

Patients are currently asked to complete a booking-in form that requests proof of eligibility, including passport details. But in practice patients rarely complete these details and are later sent a letter asking them to provide documentation to prove eligibility. If patients do not …

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