Some services are not free under the NHS and therefore attract charges. Examples include the following:
- Medicals for pre-employment, sports and driving (HGV, PSV etc.)
- Insurance reports, cetificates, claim forms
- Prescriptions for taking medication abroad
- Private sick notes
- Letters from the doctors
- Fitness certificates
- Vaccination certificates
Our reception staff will be happy to advise about the fees we charge for the various services. We will advise you in advance of the fee before any letters or reports are completed. (Our standard simple letter of fact starts at £30.00)
Why do I pay?
When your doctor is asked to give medical information about you in the form of a report, letter or certificate, the request kick starts a series of processes.
This takes time and is not always straightforward or simple to complete. Some of the information is not available easily and will mean the doctor has to sort and select the right information for the request.
The doctor also must establish who is funding this work and if it is not part of their NHS work, agree a fee for this in advance.
Surely the NHS can Pay for this?
Many patients see their doctor as the embodiment of the NHS and all that it provides – free care at the point of delivery. However not all work doctors are asked to do is paid for by the NHS and many GPs are self-employed.
This means they must cover their time and costs - staff, buildings, heating, lighting, etc - in the same way as any small business. The NHS only pays for NHS work, any work outside of the NHS must be funded by other means and this is why fees are charged.
Examples of work outside of this remit are:
- Insurance reports for mortgages or travel
- Letter writing for cancelling various activities
- Joining health clubs
- Sky dives
- Adoption medicals
- Firearm Licences
They all fall outside of the NHS GP contract and is considered private work and carries a fee, in line with the British Medical Council.
Can my doctor complete any report?
We are not able to complete every form a patient submits. There may be several reasons such as:
- a doctor with expertise and specialist equipment should complete a full diving medical.
- Travel forms requesting several different injections not supplied by the NHS.
- Forms which involve several complex appointments
- Staffing levels
We request you bring any forms in for the team to review. Should our volume of work prove to be greater or more complex than expected, we will contact you to discuss how to proceed.
Why can’t the doctor sign a form quickly?
When your 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, they may have to check your entire medical record (some of which may not be accessible on a computer or on site).
Carelessness or an inaccurate report can have serious consequences for the doctor with the General Medical Council (the doctors' regulatory body) or even the Police.
How Long will it take to complete my form?
Your doctor is inundated with work. They must balance their time with treating the sick, keeping their practice afloat and making sure they are doing all of this safely and within their professional duties as a doctor.
With certain exceptions written within their contract, doctors do not have to carry out non-NHS work. However, we choose to do as much as we can for the benefit of you and other families we treat.
Therefore, we cannot promise a report will be completed before 30 days.
Should you need a report completing sooner you will need to contact a private company.
How can I help?
- Not all documents need a signature by a doctor and can be done by other professionals. Please check the form and accompanying guidance as you may get a quicker response that way.
- If you have several forms requiring completion, present them all at once and ask your doctor if they are 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.
- Don’t book an appointment with your doctor to complete forms without checking with your doctor’s administrative staff as to whether you need to or not. The doctor may turn you away!
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