Services which are out with NHS contract
The National Health Service provides most health care to most people free of charge, but there are exceptions. GPs are self employed and contract to provide NHS general medical services for their patients.
Sometimes, GPs are asked to provide additional services, which fall outside their contract and in these circumstances, they are entitled to make a reasonable charge for providing them.
Your Questions answered
Isn’t the NHS supposed to be free?
The National Health Service provides most health care to most people free of charge, but there are exceptions: For example medical reports for insurance companies
Surely the doctor is being paid anyway?
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 covers these costs for NHS work, but for non-NHS work the fee has to cover the doctor’s costs.
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 NHS patients are:
- accident/sickness insurance certificates
- certain travel vaccinations
- private medical insurance reports
- Statements of fact relating to general health e.g. for children’s dance classes,
- Letters requested by, or on behalf of, the patient
- Holiday cancellation claim forms
- Referral for private care 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 occupational health
- Requests from solicitors for patient records
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 or her patients. Most GPs have a very heavy workload – the majority work up to 70 hours a week – and paperwork takes up an increasing amount of their time, so many GPs find they have to take some paperwork home at night and weekends.
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. In order to complete even the simplest of forms, therefore, the doctor might have to check the patient’s entire medical 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?
- If you have several forms requiring completion, present them all at once.
- Do not expect your GP to process forms overnight:
The table below lists the Charges that this practice applies. Unfortunately, in order to be fair to all patients, there are no exceptions to the charges.
Please allow 10 to 14 working days for completion
Fees and Charges 2016/17
Costs may change without notice. We accept cash only. All fees must be paid prior to service.
Full Medical Examination and report (includes but not limited to HGV, Taxi, Pilot, employment Medicals and council reports) £120
Driver Insurance form – without Medical £55
Driver Insurance form – with Medical £95
Report to DVLA with examination £100
Report to DVLA no £60
Seat belt exemption £70
Elderly driver certificates £70
Pre-employment examination and report £140
Private medical insurance claim forms (includes letters of confirmation or forms of certification) £25
Report prepared from medical records (reports prepared without a medical) £55
Temporary residents not eligible for NHS treatment
Private consultation (20 minutes) £60
Private prescription £18
Fitness to travel with examination £150
Fitness to travel certificate only – pre existing illness £15
Vaccination certificate £15
Record of Immunisations £15
Freedom from infection certificate £20
Holiday cancellation certificates £30
Simple letter/Certificate £20
Complex Letter / Certificate (2 or more pages requiring examination of medical records) £35
Private letters (“To whom it may concern”) £35
Private sick note (any sick note within 7 days is private) £10
Private prescription – travel etc £18
Certificates – seat belt exemption £70
Power of Attorney
Examination and certificate £80
Lasting Power of Attorney Health and welfare £40
Lasting Power of Attorney Property and Financial affairs £40
Application for naturalisation as a British Citizen – form AN from UK Border Agency £20
Letter re fitness to exercise, school, university £15
Access to Records under Data Protection Act
Computerised records up to £10
Manual records or combination of manual/computer records Up to £50 and £0.40 per page
Administration charge £8