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Thursday 26th
posted by Steve Sweeney in Britain

- Britain holds breath as May prepares for US trade trip - NHS crisis spirals as GPs could charge for weekend treatment

JEREMY CORBYN warned Theresa May not to offer up the NHS “for sacrifice” to Donald Trump yesterday, calling on her to “get a grip” on the spiralling crisis.

The Labour leader raised concerns over public services in PMQs as the PM heads to the States to discuss a new US-British trade deal tomorrow.

Ms May insisted that she was not afraid to “speak frankly” to the US president due to the so-called special relationship.

However Mr Corbyn accused her of trying to negotiate a “bargain basement economy” with the EU while offering Mr Trump a “blank cheque.”

Mr Corbyn’s call came as GPs revealed plans to charge patients for evening and weekend appointments — sidestepping NHS rules.

But shadow health secretary Jonathan Ashworth warned that wealthier patients would be able to “jump the queue” as doctors are drawing up plans that would see them provide private services to patients via a third-party company.

Oxfordshire’s local medical committee leader Dr Prit Buttar told Pulse magazine: “They will offer practice services, for example, if someone wants a minor operation but can only do this in an evening, then they can do this by charging a small fee. 

“It will allow GPs to value their own time more and puts pressure on the government. The government is a monopoly customer, it can dictate how much it is willing to pay.” 

Mr Buttar hoped the plans would be rolled out nationally by 2017.However Mr Ashworth said: “The fairest, most efficient and most equitable way of delivering healthcare is to ensure it is publicly funded and free at the point of use.

“This is an intolerable consequence of government underfunding of General Practice and the Tories’ wasteful reorganisation of the NHS.

“People don’t want an NHS where they are charged for treatments. Theresa May needs to get a grip and fast.”

An NHS England spokeswoman said: “Strict safeguards are in place to ensure that GPs cannot charge patients for NHS services.”