Some services provided are not covered under our contract with the NHS and therefore attract charges. Examples include the following:
- Medicals for pre-employment, sports and driving requirements (HGV, PSV etc.)
- Insurance and holiday cancellation claim forms
- Passport signing
- Prescriptions for taking medication abroad
- Private sick notes
- Vaccination certificates
- Certain travel vaccinations
The fees charged are based on the British Medical Association (BMA) suggested scales and our reception staff will be happy to advise you about them along with appointment availability. Please note that payment of fees will be expected on completion of medicals and forms.
Why do GPs Charge Fees?
The NHS provides most health care to most people free of charge, but there are exceptions. Sometimes the charge is made to cover some of the cost of treatment, for example dental fees. In other cases it is because the service isn’t covered by the NHS, for example, medical reports of insurance companies, claims on private health insurance and other letters and forms which require the doctor to review the patient’s medical records.
It is important to understand that GPs are not employed by the NHS, they are self-employed and they have to cover their costs for staff, buildings, heating, lighting etc in the same way as any small business.
The NHS pays the doctor for specific NHS work but for non-NHS work the fee has to cover the doctor’s costs.
What is Covered by the NHS and What is Not?
The government’s contract with GPs covers medical services to NHS patients. In recent years, more and more organisations have been involving doctors in a whole range of non-medical work. Sometimes the only reason that GPs are asked is because they are in a position of trust in the community, or because an insurance company or employer wants to be sure that information provided is true and accurate.
Why Does it Sometimes Take my GP a Long Time to Complete my Form?
Time spent completing forms and preparing reports takes the GP away from the medical care of his/her patients. Most GPs have a very heavy workload and paperwork takes up an increasing amount of their time. In addition non-NHS work must be undertaken outside of NHS contracted time.
I Only Need the Doctor’s Signature?
When a doctor signs a certificate or completes a report it is a condition of remaining on the Medical Register that they only sign what they know to be true. Therefore in order to complete even the simplest of forms, the doctor may need to check the patient’s entire record. Carelessness or an inaccurate report can have serious consequences for the doctor, with the General Medical Council or even the Police.