The Olympics being well under way and the additional overseas visitors in the country for the Olympics provides a timely opportunity to ensure your trust has the appropriate procedures in place to deal with, and recover the money for, treating overseas visitors.

The current DH guidance on Implementing the Overseas Visitors Hospital Charging Regulations 2011', encourages trusts to avoid unpaid debts arising and pursue the debt before writing it off. The regulations place a duty on the trust to determine whether or not charges apply to a patient which requires appropriate processes to be followed.

Currently the regulations exempt “Olympic and Paralympic Games Family members” from charges during the London 2012 Games but the new 2012 amendment regulations, which are due to come into force on 1 October 2012 remove that exemption. The amendment regulations also make all relevant services which relate to infection with Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) exempt from charges, rather than “only to the extent that they consist of a diagnostic test for evidence of infection with the Virus and counselling associated with that test or its result”, as currently.