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Episode 4

Episode 4 of 6

The day-to-day realities facing the NHS. The hospital's overseas officer, Terry, tries to recoup money from patients on the ward who are not UK residents.

A woman from Nigeria recovers in the hospital after going into premature labour with quadruplets, having fallen ill on a flight. Only three of her babies survived the dangerously premature births and they are now being cared for in Neonatal Intensive Care. She receives a visit from the hospital's overseas officer Terry, whose job it is to prepare her for a huge bill. Because she is not a British resident, she must pay for the care that she and her babies are receiving. The cost of such specialist care quickly tops £100,000 and looks likely to rise to half a million pounds during their stay. Terry explains that, despite her distressing predicament, it is a legal requirement for the hospital to collect the money the NHS is owed.

'We have to start raising invoices on a weekly basis. She has three babies in ICU. So that's £20,000 a week for each baby, plus her own charges as well... You have to distance yourself emotionally. Otherwise you wouldn't get the job done.'

The woman is just one of a number of overseas patients who are receiving lifesaving care and from whom the hospital must now try to recoup money. Although emergency treatment given in A&E is free, non-UK residents who are admitted to a ward have to be billed.

Terry also needs to charge Sonia, a 56-year-old woman from the Philippines who suffers heart problems while visiting her sister, who is a UK resident. Cardiothoracic surgeon Rex Stanbridge saves her life, but she suffers complications and needs a bed in Intensive Care - costing thousands of pounds per day.

In 2015/16, the Trust's overseas patient charges were £4million, with Terry's team managing to collect £1.6million. Despite carrying a credit card machine to take on-the-spot payments, Terry finds it hard to get many patients to pay up.

59 minutes

Last on

Tue 7 Feb 2017 00:15

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Credits

Role Contributor
Executive Producer Lorraine Charker Phillips
Executive Producer Simon Dickson
Executive Producer Helen Littleboy
Series Producer Tom Currie
Series Producer Gilly Greenslade
Series Editor Graeme McAulay
Production Company Label 1

Broadcasts

  • Wed 1 Feb 2017 21:00
  • Mon 6 Feb 2017 23:15
  • Tue 7 Feb 2017 00:15

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