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NHS could charge for hospital beds

(40 Posts)
cngodltlbi Tue 07-Oct-14 17:27:56

www.theguardian.com/society/2014/oct/07/fund-nhs-properly-or-charge-for-hospital-beds-says-senior-executive

VivaLeBeaver Tue 07-Oct-14 17:32:58

To be honest I can see an argument for this.....means tested with a high threshold.

My dad spent nine months in hospital, that was his longest stretch. Over the next few years he had multiple admissions many lasting months.

He saved a fortune being in hospital. No mortgage, standing charge only bills, no food, no shopping. Pension of 22k a year accruing. He would happily have paid a contribution to food.

Inkanta Tue 07-Oct-14 19:34:06

Yes maybe there should be a contribution in some circumstances. It's not a bottomless pit.

Territt16 Wed 08-Oct-14 10:07:09

means tested with a high threshold???

So people who earn a lot and pay a shit load in tax would be changed for the NHS.

Those that don't pay much tax towards it would get it free?

MadDoggy Wed 08-Oct-14 10:39:31

Wish there was a like button. Would press it for Territta16's post.

People seems to think that those with a bit more money than them have unlimited funds. I wonder if they realise that the more you earn the more tax you pay.

Oh and before people start accusing me of being one of the rich, me and husband are not by any means well off, and struggle month to month ourselves.

gunnsgirl Wed 08-Oct-14 10:47:24

Long term hospital patients on benefits - be that work related benefits to state pension - already have deductions for food taken from benefits after a certain amount of time.

Families incur the same costs, if not more, when someone is hospital so I wouldn't be overly happy with this if implemented. I don't see the argument of no mortgage - do building societies wave this payment whilst you're in hospital or something? Never heard that one.

LineRunner Wed 08-Oct-14 10:47:58

Lots of the poorest people already lose out through benefit reductions whilst being in hospital. I presume the argument is that they receive eg free food.

So maybe everyone should similarly pay a charge for flood. However ... that will lead to some people refusing to pay for the frankly vile meals that some hospitals still serve up, and insisting on having their own food brought in. Chaos on the wards.

I suppose calling it a 'bed charge' would get around that.

Isitmebut Wed 08-Oct-14 11:40:35

The NHS is protected for all, that threat is rollocks, especially as 'the rich' and others in company schemes will go to private hospitals, especially in charged. IMO.

A major part of their annual spending problems was the Trusts getting saddled with so much Private Finance Initiative building and maintaining services debt, from badly negotiated contracts, eating into every annual hospital budget for years to come.

As long as we can economically 'grow' ourselves out of an annual budget deficit and start paying off our National Debt, the money will be there.

In Spain, Portugal and Greece, under economic and debt pressure, according to the Daily Politics the other day, while we increased our NHS spending by around £12 billion, they have SLASHED their health spending by 3% to 17%.

The problem here has been the massive increase in demand e.g. 90 million more requests for GP appointment spilling over to A&E, which will not change as an EU in recession, will mean yet more EU economic migrants gravitate to our success - and the only way that may change, is a 2017 referendum on the EU's pros and cons.

professornangnang Wed 08-Oct-14 11:47:33

I'd prefer to see fees for missed appointments in hospital and gp appointments. It would be doubly effective because it would raise funds but also discourage people from missing appointments which is a huge inconvenience for doctors. People would have to submit bank details when making an appointment but money would only be deducted if the appointment was missed, much in the way some spas and beauty salons operate.

professornangnang Wed 08-Oct-14 11:49:55

They could also do a 3 strikes and you're out. So, if people provide them with incorrect details 3 times, they have to go and register at another doctor with all the inconvenience that would involve.

SauvignonBlanche Wed 08-Oct-14 12:00:23

Fuck me, I just spent the whole summer in hospital, 4 weeks and 2 days so @ £75 a day I'd have had a bill of £2,250 for the pleasure. hmm

I had still had to pay my mortgage, utility bills etc. whilst in, I was miles from home, about an hour away so DH spent a fortune in petrol coming to see me everyday.

Yes,I had food, tap water and tea bags provided but as I brought in my own cereal and tea bags but DH supplemented the food with fresh fruit and salad I very much doubt I consumed a tenth of that amount in hotel services.

I accept that some people save money by being in hospital but the vast majority don't.

LineRunner Wed 08-Oct-14 12:26:24

Yes I agree, you don't save money if you still have dependants to house and heat, your wages have taken a hit, and family are paying to visit you in hospital.

I think macmillan cancer care will back this up, that it can be an expensive time.

VivaLeBeaver Wed 08-Oct-14 18:34:58

When I said "no mortgage" I meant my dad didnt have a mortgage. So no mortgage or rent to pay as his house was owned outright.

I was thinking more like £5 a day towards food rather than £75.

VivaLeBeaver Wed 08-Oct-14 18:35:20

But then I suppose it probably wouldn't be worth implementing it.

LadySybilLikesCake Wed 08-Oct-14 18:42:06

It would be better if they charged people who didn't attend. The NHS do make mistakes though. I was sent 3 appointments which I didn't receive as I'd moved house and they hadn't bothered to change my details on their system when I told them.

Charging per bed is harsh. What happens to those who can't afford it so discharge themselves? What happens to paediatric beds, who pays for that considering the parents do most of the care? Are the parents to pay for a bed next to their child too? Are people to get insurance if they do become ill?

It's just another step towards privatisation sad

Pico2 Wed 08-Oct-14 18:52:21

I'm not in favour of this, but I also struggle to see where the figure of £75 has come from. What is it meant to be covering of a hospital's costs? If it is food, cleaning, depreciation on a bed, cost of the tiny space between curtains you get etc, but exclude healthcare cost, then I struggle to see why it would be more than the cost of a Travelodge room + perhaps a very generous £10 per day for food.

LadySybilLikesCake Wed 08-Oct-14 19:11:32

NI and Tax already pay for this though, why are they thinking of charging twice? Wouldn't the easiest option be to increase NI contributions? 50p wouldn't be noticed but would mount up.

Tanacot Wed 08-Oct-14 19:13:12

When we were wholly reliant on benefits, DH could not take up a 6 week rehabiliation hospital stay because there was no patient transport to take him home at weekends. He had no wheelchair or car so couldn't go himself like the other patients.

If you are in hospital for 28 consecutive days, you lose almost all your benefits - DLA and Carers Allowance and most of the Income Support this is (I think they let you keep a small stipend?). DH needs 1-2-1 care, which at that time they expected me to provide in the hospital 12 hours per day (though nowadays they give him a named nurse), so I was required to cycle 21 miles per day plus 12 hours caring plus losing almost all my income. We tried to do it - he went in and I was prepared to go without food etc to get the rehab for him for as long as we could manage it, but they stopped Housing Benefit too, so we would have been homeless when he got out. So he couldn't have rehab and couldn't get a wheelchair or physio (he's quadriplegic) until 5+ years later.

(We don't have a car, but if you have a motability car, they take that too. If you have a motability wheelchair, that is repossessed.)

I guess I'm saying that this has already happened, effectively. The poorest people already don't have the same access to treatment in the NHS. That happened to us in 2008 and the rules are the same now.

Quangle Wed 08-Oct-14 19:22:24

God Tanacot, I had no idea sad

DaughterDilemma Wed 08-Oct-14 19:22:36

It's the NHS execs getting angry, and about time too. About time they fought back at the government on behalf of patients. The number of times I have been told 'we have to prioritise' when we are talking about serious childrens health problems and I have had to respond 'well fight for more money then'. It is the exec's job to do this, not the vulnerable at the other end of the NHS food chain.

But knowing the NHS, this particular angry Exec will probably get an early retirement package or be shuffled off somehow.

Tanacot Thu 09-Oct-14 07:43:29

Oh well, it's benefits, isn't it. You can do anything to people on benefits.

And everything they do to people on benefits, they'll do to everyone soon enough.

Mrsdavidcaruso Thu 09-Oct-14 09:02:19

Supply the NHS with bank details professor are you fucking serious

There is already grave concern about the way the NHS handle our health data that is evident from the opposition to care.data, summery care records and connecting for health, and you actually want the NHS to have access to a persons financial details so that they can lose it, sell it or apply the information to the wrong patient don't think so

Darkesteyes Thu 09-Oct-14 16:46:55

Tanocot thats awful I had a similar experience in 2008 but not as bad as yours. DH had a HA in 2006 which left him with health problems (he also has emphysema.) In 2008 he was back and forth with angina attacks and i just couldnt afford to go to the hospital with him. It would have meant a seperate taxi fare for me to come home after he had been stabilised and then his taxi fare when he was ready to come home. It was impossible The council tax wouldnt have got paid . We just couldnt do it. And before anyone says we could have used free hospital transport that debate has been had on another thread. Its not being provided for the children who are having chemo sad

Tanacot Fri 10-Oct-14 11:10:33

Sorry that happened to you, Darkesteyes.

We are OK these days, ourselves, but I won't forget the unusual insight on the world that sort of experience gives you. It teaches you a lot, I think, about how people really are. It's not a nice lesson but, eh, probably a good one.

DonnaLyman Fri 10-Oct-14 11:16:34

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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