FINANCE: A Midlands hospital has been forced to clarify its position on charging for A&E prescriptions after a PCT non-executive director misspoke in a meeting.

The unnamed non-executive director wrongly told a meeting of the Staffordshire Cluster of PCTs that the University Hospital of North Staffordshire was going to charge for some prescriptions to A&E patients.

This was recorded in the public minutes sparking outrage from local campaigners and Stoke-on-Trent MP Rob Flello.

But the claim was incorrect and the hospital has issued a statement to make clear it does not charge for prescriptions in A&E and has no plans to bring in charges.

A spokesman for UHNS said: “Historically, a very small number of patients attending A&E have been supplied with medicine if their clinical condition required it, which continues to be the case.

“Although a prescription charge could be levied for these items, no system is currently in place to collect these charges and there are no plans to do so.”

He added that the trust had investigated charging for prescription but found the system would be so complex the trust would stand to lose money.