The NHS provides most health care to most people free of charge. Not all health care is free however, prescription charges have existed since 1951, there may be a charge towards treatment, such as dental fees, in other cases, it is because the service is not covered by the NHS, for example, medical reports for insurance companies.
The Government’s contract with GPs covers medical services to NHS patients. In recent years, more and more organisations need doctors to do 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, travel and sickness insurance certificates
- Certain travel vaccinations
- Private medical insurance reports.
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 patients. We have a very heavy clinical workload and paperwork takes up an increasing amount of our time just looking after patients.
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 will I be charged?
We have lists of fees in the reception and on this website. View fees
What can I do to help?
Not all documents need 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 us if we are prepared to complete them all at once as a ‘job lot’ at reduced price.
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.
Related: Private Fees