£10 fine for an NHS no-show, says Rishi Sunak

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Mr Sunak has also pledged to help the country’s high streets by allowing councils to double the current fines that can be imposed on those who blight towns with graffiti and litter. He is also considering plans to make it easier to convert empty shops into venues such as cafes.

Outlining his plan to introduce fines for missed NHS appointments, Mr Sunak said: “If they’re not being used, then that’s a waste. So if we can change that, then we basically get more out of the money that we’re putting in today. It’s a good example of a Conservative approach to that problem.”

According to NHS England, more than 15 million appointments at GP surgeries are wasted each year due to patients failing to show up or warn surgeries that they will not be attending.  Almost 4.5 million appointments were missed between January and April this year alone.

Previously, doctors have objected to proposals to fine those who miss appointments, on the basis that such a scheme would introduce a new layer of bureaucracy for hard-pressed surgeries and could deter patients who need care.

But Mr Sunak said: “I was told that with all the various things that I had to do during furlough, during the pandemic, ‘all this is too complicated’ or ‘we aren’t going to get this done in time’. I found ways to do it.

“Yes, it means we have to do something brave and something different, but that’s what I’m about doing.”

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