Why do GPs charge fees?
The National Health Service 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 – 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. Our fees are calculated based on our GPs Private hourly rate.
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.
Examples of non-NHS services for which GPs can charge their patients
- Certain travel vaccinations
- Private medical insurance reports
- Holiday cancellation forms
- Referral for private care forms
- Letters request by, or on behalf of, the patient
- In certain instances fitness to work forms
Examples of non-NHS services for which GPs can charge other institutions are
- Medical reports for an insurance company
- Some reports for the DSS/Benefits Agency
- Examinations of local authority employees
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 – the majority of GPs work up to 60 hours per week 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 – what is the problem?
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.
What can I do to help?
- Not all documents need a signature by a doctor, for example passport applications. You can ask another person in a position of trust to sign such documents free of charge.
- If you have several forms requiring completion, present them all at once and ask your GP if he or she is prepared to complete them at the same time to speed up the process.
- Do not expect your GP to process forms overnight. Urgent requests may mean that a doctor has to make special arrangements to process the form quickly, and this will cost more.
Private sick note / certificate (no examination )
Holiday cancellation (short)
Holiday cancellation (detailed )
up to £60
Fit to travel confirmation ( no exam)
Fit to travel - short medical and report
Fitness for gym membership ( simple statement)
Fitness to drive (report without exam DVLA)
HGV / PSV / Elderly driver – full medical and report
Reports to housing authorities (to support applications on health related grounds)
Private insurance form ( to support patients’ ins claim)
Driving licence signature ( to confirm identity)
Blue / orange badge reports
Camp America forms
Ofsted report ( simple form )
Ofsted ( detailed report)
Miscellaneous letter ( short)
Miscellaneous letter (detailed )
Power of Attorney completion of forms
Witnessing Lasting POA
Private consultation with doctor
£100 up to 30 mins
Standard tests in 15 minute appmt with nurse
£20 + cost of test
Blood test dependent upon laboratory charges and cost of consultation
( to enable employer to decide on recruitment )
Post employment medicals
To determine retirement on ill health grounds
Assess fitness to undertake tasks
Fitness to join pension scheme
Certificate of incapacity to undertake activity
Examination and report to advise on how job affects health
Full Sports medical & report
Short medical examination and report
Price on application
Adoption / Foster medical (parent/carer or Local Authority )
Form AH – prospective parent/carer
Form AH2 – update report parent/carer
Reports to Insurance companies:
Supplementary GP report
Providing detailed opinion and statement on condition of patient
Report on proforma
Short certificate of fact