Patients being charged by hospital cashpointsResearch reveals hospital ATM postcode lottery
27 June 2010
Which? has found a postcode lottery of cash machine provision in English NHS hospitals, with 17% charging patients to withdraw their own money
Which? used the Freedom of Information Act to survey every general hospital with an A&E department and - from the 144 responses received - found 17% charge up to £1.99 for a single cash withdrawal. And 13% of hospitals don't have a cash machine at all.
It's a lack of consistency that can penalise patients who are at their most vulnerable and who don't choose to be in hospital.
When we asked Luton and Dunstable Hospital NHS Foundation Trust about its hospital cash machines and whether they charge, they told us that no bank would offer the service free to customers at the time of installation, and they considered any service better than no service.
Which? money editor James Daley said: 'Hospitals should drive a hard bargain to ensure that these facilities are available and free to patients.'
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