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Patients can travel to France for treatment, offers CCG

Patients can travel to France for treatment, offers CCG

South Kent Coast Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) has offered patients surgery in France, after two French providers won a bid to provide the services
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South Kent Coast Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) has offered patients surgery in France, after two French providers won a bid to provide the services.

The CCG recently invited organisations that provide treatments including general surgery, gynaecology, cataract surgery, pain management and orthopaedics to apply if they were interested in treating South Kent Coast patients. 

Patients who need these treatments can choose to have it in France, after discussion with their GP, however they will have to pay all of their own travel costs, while the NHS will pay for the treatment itself.

Commenting on this, Julian Spinks, chairman of Kent Local Medical Committee, said: "As Kent is next door to France, schemes have popped up over the years to try to use hospitals  in France and a number of individuals have used the ability to charge the NHS for overseas treatment if waits were excessive.

"Numbers have been small and there have been a small number of problems with follow-up, postoperative complications etc. I suspect the falls in time to treatment that happened in previous years also meant that there was less to gain. Now that the [waiting] times are rising again, this may no longer be the case," he added.

Centre Hospitalier de Calais has successfully bid, along with another, currently undisclosed, French provider and “a number of English ones”.

Hazel Carpenter, the accountable officer for NHS South Kent Coast Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “We carried out a careful assessment of the services they offer and are visiting the sites. The two French providers, among others, fulfilled our criteria and we expect to finalise a contract with them. 

“It is purely a matter of choice and we will be very interested to see how many people take it up and what feedback they give us,” she added.

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