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There are also concerns that more migrants will be deterred from accessing urgent care in the first place due to fear that they will be flagged to the Home Office if they can’t pay up.Evan Luckes, an A&E nurse at the Royal London hospital who is taking part in the protests, told he was shocked to find that while he was recently caring for a critically ill woman, her family was being asked to fill out forms to prove her eligibility for free healthcare.Until now, the General Medical Council has discouraged doctors from having relationships with former patients deemed vulnerable at the time they were being treated, and it continues to ban them with current patients.
The updated guidelines outlined in the doctors' handbook Good Medical Practice, and which come into force next month, state: "If you are considering whether to pursue a personal relationship with a former patient, you must use your professional judgment.
NHS staff and patients, with campaign group Docs Not Cops, have set up up an immigration checkpoint outside the Department of Health to protest the introduction of immigration checks and upfront charging for NHS patients.
The new regulations will extend charging rules and build on existing policy for billing overseas visitors in NHS hospitals.
Immigration rules are worsening NHS staffing pressures by preventing doctors from overseas coming to Britain to work, health chiefs have warned.
Limits on the number of visas issued to doctors from countries outside the European Economic Area are contributing to rota gaps and delays in patients receiving care, NHS bosses have said.