GP appointment charges 'would damage patient trust'

Edmond Ferdinandus, a GP in Wakefield, West Yorkshire, said:

A small fee will make patients feel they have a large entitlement - if we do this, I predict the extra income will be entirely cancelled out by extra prescriptions, investigations or referrals.

Chaand Nagpaul, chairman of the General Practitioners Committee which represents GPs in Britain, agreed and said the NHS should be free at point of delivery:

Charging patients would have adverse effects and would fundamentally be to the detriment of GP-patient relationships. We need to preserve trust between patients and their GPs.

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GPs 'want £25 appointment fee'

51% of GPs surveyed are in favour of the NHS charging up to £25 for routine appointments. 440 of them were quizzed by health magazine Pulse. 36% GPs said they were opposed to the idea.