Lancashire TelegraphBlackburn with Darwen GPs paid to treat ‘ghost patients’ (From Lancashire Telegraph)

When news happens, text LT and your photos and videos to 80360. Or contact us by email or phone.

Blackburn with Darwen GPs paid to treat ‘ghost patients’

GP surgeries in Blackburn with Darwen are being paid for thousands of ‘ghost patients’ who appear on their registers, despite having died or moved away.

The number of patients registered with doctors exceeds the borough’s population by about 20,000, with the mismatch thought to be costing the NHS more than £1 million per year.

Russ McLean, chairman of the Pennine Lancashire Patient Voices Group, said it was an ‘alarming’ situation which may have been caused by a ‘transient population’ of students or refugees failing to de-register with surgeries when they move.

He added: “Our doctors are already well paid, so I hate to think they are benefitting from having these patients on their lists. We simply cannot afford to continue paying for this out of public funds.

“Surgeries should do all they can to make sure their lists are up to date, but patients also have to take responsibility and make sure they inform their surgery when they move.”

There are currently 169,543 patients registered with GPs in Blackburn with Darwen, while the borough’s latest population figure, for 2012, was 147,489. Practices are paid about £65 per year for each patient on their list, meaning the borough’s doctors could be receiving an extra £1.3 million. The East Lancashire area has 371,918 patients registered with GPs, against a population total of about 382,000, which suggests there could be about 10,000 patients not registered with a practice.

GPs are paid with public funds, but are private contractors rather than employees of the NHS. An average family doctor earns about £100,000 per year.

NHS England, which commissions GP services, said in a statement: “In the majority of cases, GP practices work hard to keep their registered patient lists as accurate as they can and our area teams are working closely with them to achieve this.

“It is really important that patients keep their GPs informed if they are changing practices or leaving the area so that their registration can be amended.”

Comments (4)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

2:20pm Fri 17 Jan 14

woolywords says...

When you consider how transient that modern society is, it makes more sense that every person has an NHS card, that identifies them on a national database within seconds.
This keep records up to date, prevents NHS tourists coming here for treatment and can be used as a great epidemiological tool, should the need arise.
We all accept chip and PIN bankcards, why not this little life-saver in your pocket?
When you consider how transient that modern society is, it makes more sense that every person has an NHS card, that identifies them on a national database within seconds. This keep records up to date, prevents NHS tourists coming here for treatment and can be used as a great epidemiological tool, should the need arise. We all accept chip and PIN bankcards, why not this little life-saver in your pocket? woolywords
  • Score: 18

2:59pm Fri 17 Jan 14

Malcolm123 says...

Why should a doctor be paid for not seeing or having any contact with a patient?If a patient has not seen a doctor, not had a prescription,or paid a visit to the surgery for a set period ,alarm bells should ring on their computer. The doctor should send out a letter to the patient requiring them to update the register. If they have taken the money falsely, they should pay it back.
Why should a doctor be paid for not seeing or having any contact with a patient?If a patient has not seen a doctor, not had a prescription,or paid a visit to the surgery for a set period ,alarm bells should ring on their computer. The doctor should send out a letter to the patient requiring them to update the register. If they have taken the money falsely, they should pay it back. Malcolm123
  • Score: 13

4:44pm Fri 17 Jan 14

leyton says...

and they didnt or dont lknow ha ha give me a break
and they didnt or dont lknow ha ha give me a break leyton
  • Score: 5

7:59pm Fri 17 Jan 14

Faithless says...

GP's are doing/have done blatant fraud in East Lancashire and NHS England are well aware of it. They are clueless about how to handle it, that is all.
GP's are doing/have done blatant fraud in East Lancashire and NHS England are well aware of it. They are clueless about how to handle it, that is all. Faithless
  • Score: 7

Comments are closed on this article.

click2find

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree