Why do GP’s charge fees? 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 prescription charges, and there are a number of other services for which fees are charged. This is because the service is not covered by the NHS, for example medical reports for insurance companies, claim forms for referral to private care and other letters and forms which require the GP to review the patient’s medical record.
Surely the GP is being paid anyway?
GPs are not employed by the NHS. They are self-employed and 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 GP’s costs.
What is covered by the NHS and what is not?
The government’s contract with GP’s covers medical services to NHS patients. In recent years more and more organisations have been involving GPs in a whole range of non-medical work.
Examples of non-NHS services for which GPs can charge their NHS patients are;
- Certain travel vaccinations
- Private medical insurance reports
- Holiday cancellation claim forms
- Referral for private care forms
- Letters requested by, or on behalf of, the patient
Examples of non-NHS services for which GPs can charge other institutions are;
- Medical reports for an insurance company
- Some reports from 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. GPs have a very heavy workload and paperwork takes up an increasing amount of their time.
I only need a GPs signature – what is the problem?
When a GP 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 most simplest of forms, the GP needs to check the patient’s entire medical record. Carelessness or inaccurate report can have serious consequences for the GP.
Charges at Upper Eden Medical Practice
At Upper Eden Medical Practice we have a list of fees displayed at reception. They are also contained at the back of the leaflet and can be found on our website.
Why do I need to pay upfront?
In the past we have completed reports and forms before payment has been made, but sadly there has been many occasions when the GP has completed the work but the payment has not been made. Therefore, from 11th February 2013 the fee must be paid in advance at the time of the request for the letter or form to be completed is made or when the appointment for the medical is booked.
Fees For Private Medical Services
With effect from July 2017
Please note that all the prices below are inclusive of VAT
|Private medical letter
|Private medical / insurance claim form
|Private consultation Nurse
||£30 per 15 mins
|Private consultation GP
||£60 per 15 mins
|Medical Examination & Report (eg Ofsted / employment)
|Document Countersigned (eg passport / driving licence)
|Travel with medications letter
|Medical summary letter
Payment must be made in advance by cash, cheque, card or BACs.
Please make cheques payable to: Upper Eden Medical Practice.
Please contact the surgery for our account details if you wish to pay via BACs.
If you do make payment via BACs, please use your name as the payment reference.