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1 May 2015

Do Not Believe What Nigel #Farage Tells You About ‘Health Tourists’ And #HIV Services In The UK

Farage was on TV again last night quoting from a letter he claims to have in his possession from a 30 year old HIV patient who who states NHS treatment is slipping because of ‘health tourism’.

So a friend of ours wrote to a local HIV/AIDS charity and asked for some information. (Their funding was cut to zero a year or two back.

This was the reply.

"Here is a link to the info from BHIVA (copy attached) about the changes to public health commissioning and the requirement for LA’s to retender services such as sexual health and HIV care. These changes have resulted in much confusion and consequently disruption to service delivery as new providers take over contracts for services.

"Some tendering situations have resulted in real problems with HIV care being left behind as providers cherry pick the services they wish to take on or commissioners not including aspects of care in their tender documents resulting in some parts of HIV care being left in limbo.

"Level 3 HIV care in one county was a prime example of this, the trust taking over sexual health services apparently not wishing to take on this aspect, or it not being part of the original tender, resulting in a hiatus whilst the error is corrected with another tender to take place next year and, as a result, the current provider who took over this year is not likely to invest significantly in the service as they are awaiting the outcome of the next tender!

"As they didn’t want this aspect of the service anyway it is probably likely that they will not wish to take it on next year.

"All of these changes have had an impact on the service provision and thus the perception of the end user is that the service has changed and probably not for the best.

"Of course change brings some disruption and this is to be expected, but anecdotal reports of other situations like the ones we are experiencing have been received from other parts of the country, with some private providers handing back services or otherwise being terminated as a result of the inability to provide an adequate service level or other tender or capability related issues."
Also a link to the BHIVA consultation about the proposed changes where many highlight service fragmentation and potential perils to service delivery here;
and more here;
And this review by the President of BASHH about the good, bad and ugly parts of the changes here;
Rather a mess you will agree - but the issues illustrated by the UKIP email being circulated at present would seem to be more to do with the disruption caused by the changes in health and social care than a dramatic influx of health tourists.

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