The surgery will consider requests for non-NHS services and if we agree to provide these services a fee will apply.
Non-NHS services can include requests for information, medical reports, letters or claim forms that are required by organisations such as Solicitors, Insurance companies, the DVLA or a patient’s employer. Please see here for details of the fees payable.
Please note that the fee must be paid in advance of the service being provided.
Further information about non-NHS services and why a fee is required
The National Health Service provides most health care to most people free of charge, but there are exceptions when a service is not covered by the NHS. This includes things such as medical reports for insurance companies or employers, claim forms and other letters and forms which require the doctor to review a patient’s medical records.
When a doctor signs a certificate or completes a report, no matter how ‘simple the form’ it is a condition of remaining on the Medical Register that the doctor can only sign what they know to be true. Therefore, in order to complete even the simplest of forms, the doctor needs to check the patient’s entire medical record and this takes time. Carelessness or an inaccurate report can have serious consequences for the doctor and the patient. It is not just as simple as a signature.
The BMA recommends that GPs tell patients in advance if they will be charged, and how much, to enable the patient to choose whether to continue with their request. It is up to the individual practice to decide how much to charge for each item.
Time spent completing forms and preparing reports takes the GP away from the NHS medical care of his/her patients and normally the doctor will complete this work outside their NHS contracted hours. You will understand that this work cannot be done for free.
Our GPs are inundated daily with requests from patients for non-NHS work and where the paperwork can be completed by someone other than the GP we will recommend this.
You may be interested to know that GPs are self-employed, and as such they have to cover their costs – staff, buildings, heating, lighting etc. – in the same way as any small business. The NHS pays the GP for specific NHS work, but not for non-NHS work. As a result, professional fees are charged for any non-NHS work, similar to fees you might expect to pay for a solicitor or for a consultation with a private doctor.