Stop the charge VICTORY: PM to end 'unfair' GP charges for mental health debt forms

The 'unfair' practice of NHS doctors charging people with mental health problems up to £150 to fill in a crucial debt help form is to be reviewed, the Prime Minster has announced.

It follows the 'stop the charge' campaign by the Money and Mental Health Policy Institute, which teamed up with 14 other charities to demand GPs stop compounding debt problems by charging for the 'debt and mental health evidence form'. The form is needed by lenders before they can offer those with mental health problems debt help.

In a major speech unveiling a wide-ranging overhaul of mental health care, Theresa May announced that these GP charges – typically £20 to £50, but in some cases as much as £150 – will be reviewed.

She said: "Despite known links between debt and mental health, currently hundreds of mental health patients are charged by their GP for a form to prove they have mental health issues. To end this unfair practice the Department of Health will undertake a formal review of the mental health debt form, working with the Money and Mental Health Policy Institute."

The institute, a charity set up by MoneySavingExpert.com founder Martin Lewis last April, has spearheaded the campaign against the GP charges. A number of MPs and leading mental health and advice charities including Mind, Rethink and StepChange have also spoken out against them, while the campaign saw over 2,000 people sign a joint letter to the UK health secretaries.

If you or someone you know has a mental health problem and struggles with debt, download the free 44-page Mental Health and Debt booklet.

For more details click here 

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