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Today Newcastle CVS published an open letter to Newcastle and Gateshead MPs and North East MEP’s about the introduction of regulations that mean people will have to prove their eligibility for NHS services. If someone is unable to show they are eligible they may have to pay for community services including midwifery, health visitors and district nurses, community mental health services and advocacy as well as specialist services for homeless people and asylum seekers. 

Introduced in August, the NHS Charging Regulations will this month be extended to cover services provided by voluntary organisations delivering commissioned NHS services. Newcastle CVS believes this will put many voluntary organisation in an impossible position between the terms of their NHS contract and their charitable objectives to provide relief from poverty and inequality. 

Published just before Parliament’s summer recess, these regulations have avoided scrutiny by MPs and that’s why Newcastle CVS is calling on Newcastle and Gateshead’s MPs to subject these new rules to proper scrutiny and Parlimentary debate. The NHS Charging Regulation are an example of bad policy making, which will have minimal impact on the NHS £116 billion budget but a direct and detrimental impact on refugee and asylum seekers, creating a ‘hostile environment’ in which people will be uncertain about their rights of access to health services. 

HAREF, the Health and Race Equality Forum is calling on voluntary and community organisations in Newcastle and Gateshead to send case studies or examples of people who have been refused NHS treatment because of these new regulations. You can email examples to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.