Q: Is it worth filling in the forms for temporary patients?
A: YES, probably
Under the new contract the payment for temporary patients has been subsumed into the global sum. So, is there any point filling in a temporary resident form since there is no extra money for providing this service?
Well, yes, probably: Payment for temporary patients was included into the global sum on the basis of historic payments to your practice over the last five years. The temporary patient forms you fill in now will inform the current level of services provided to temporary residents and will help to determine any necessary adjustments to global sum payments in the future. The blue book Investing in General Practice* – 2.28 sets out that where the treatment of temporary residents is insufficiently accounted for within the global sum this may be resourced either by a variation to the global sum or as a local enhanced service where, for example, a new holiday park has opened close to the practice resulting in a large influx of temporary residents. It is important therefore to record all non-registered patients who are treated, including those requiring emergency or immediately necessary treatment.
Annex C of the 2013 State of Financial Entitlements sets out the basis for temporary resident adjustments.
UK Residents on Holiday
The Regulations state:
20.—(1) The contractor may, if the contractor’s list of patients is open, accept a person as a temporary resident provided the contractor is satisfied that the person is—
(a) temporarily resident away from their normal place of residence and is not being provided with essential services (or their equivalent) under any other arrangement in the locality where that person is temporarily residing; or
(b) moving from place to place and not for the time being resident in any place.
(2) For the purposes of sub-paragraph (1), a person is to be regarded as temporarily resident in a place if, when that person arrives in that place, they intend to stay there for more than 24 hours but not for more than three months.
(3) Where a contractor wants to terminate its responsibility for a person accepted by it as a temporary resident before the end of—
(a) three months; or
(b) such shorter period for which the contractor agreed to accept that person as a temporary resident,
the contractor must give notice of that fact to the person either orally or in writing and the contractor’s responsibility for that person is to cease seven days after the date on which notice is given.
(4) Where the contractor’s responsibility for a person as a temporary resident comes to an end, the contractor must give notice in writing to the Board of its acceptance of that person as a temporary resident—
(a) at the end of the period of three months beginning with the date on which the contractor accepted that person as a temporary resident; or
(b) if the contractor’s responsibility for that person as a temporary resident came to an end earlier than at the end of the three month period referred to in paragraph (a), at the end of that period.
If, however, the person is only in the area for less than 24 hours they can be provided with immediately necessary care or, if not urgent, then they can be refused and told to see their own GP upon returning home. This will depend on clinical judgement.