Some services provided are not covered under our contract with the NHS and therefore attract charges. Examples include the following:
- Consultations for non-NHS patients
- Medicals for pre-employment, sports and driving requirements (HGV, PSV etc.)
- Insurance claim forms
- Passport signing
- Prescriptions for taking medication abroad
- Private sick notes
- Vaccination certificates
- Letters asking for medical problem confirmation
The fees charged are based on the British Medical Association (BMA) suggested scales and our reception staff will be happy to advise you about them along with appointment availability.
Why GPs sometimes charge fees
The explanation below is adapted from guidance on the BMA website.
Surely the doctor is being paid anyway?
It is important to understand that most GPs are not employed by the HSC. They are self-employed and they have to cover their costs - staff, buildings, heating, lighting, insurances, equipment, stationary and office supplies etc.. - in the same way as any small business. The HSC covers these costs for contracted HSC work, but not for non-HSC work. The fees charged by GPs contribute towards their costs.
As the GPs have to prioritise clinical HSC work over private work we must book a locum to do the routine surgery while the regular GP completes private work for patients. We therefore require that patients pay a fee for private work to help cover these costs.
What is covered by the HSC and what is not?
The Government’s contract with GPs covers medical services to HSC patients, including the provision of ongoing medical treatment. In recent years, however, 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 ensure that information provided to them is true and accurate.
Examples of non-HSC services for which GPs can charge their own HSC patients:
- accident or sickness certificates for insurance purposes
- school fee and holiday insurance certificates
- reports for health clubs to certify that patients are fit to exercise
Examples of non-HSC services for which GPs can charge other institutions:
- life assurance and income protection reports for insurance companies
- reports for the Social Security Agency (SSA) in connection with disability living allowance and attendance allowance
- medical reports for local authorities in connection with adoption and fostering
Do GPs have to do non-HSC work for their patients?
With certain limited exceptions, for example a GP confirming that one of their patients is not fit for jury service, GPs do not have to carry out non-HSC work on behalf of their patients. Whilst GPs will always attempt to assist their patients with the completion of forms, for example for insurance purposes, they are not required to do such non-HSC work, and can decline.
Is it true that the BMA sets fees for non-HSC work?
The BMA suggest fees that GPs may charge their patients for non-HSC work (i.e. work not covered under their contract with the HSC) in order to help GPs set their own professional fees. However, the fees suggested by the BMA are intended for guidance only; they are not recommendations and a doctor is not obliged to charge the rates the BMA suggest.
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 and paperwork takes up an increasing amount of their time, so many GPs find they have to take paperwork home at nights and weekends. Obviously they need to rest and spend time with their families as well as working for their patients, so there is a limit to how much extra work they can do in any given day or week.
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 (the doctors' regulatory body) or even the Police. That’s why the fee may seem a lot for a signature – it may take a considerable amount of time for the doctor to make the necessary checks before signing a document.
How long will it take for my form to be completed?
You may have to wait several weeks for the doctor to find time to complete a form or report for you as this depends on other pressures and priorities and whether locums are available to carry on core services while the doctor does paperwork. The wait is likely to be considerably longer in the Winter when more people are seeking appointments with their GP.
If you need your form or letter urgently the doctor may be able to make special arrangements to process the form quickly but this will cost more. If you require this service please enquire at the time as fees will vary depending on what special arrangements need to be made.
Private GP services
|Item / service||Who pays?||Charge|
|Private sick note||Patient / Employer||£15|
|Private consultation with GP||Patient||£49 per 10 mins|
|Private consultation with GP (urgent)||Patient||£60 per 10 mins|
|Private consultation with nurse||Patient||£20 per 10 mins|
|Private home visit from GP||Patient||£200|
|Private home visit from GP (urgent)||Patient||£250|
|Private joint or soft tissue injection||Patient||£150|
|Private minor surgical procedure||Patient||£250|
|Private vaccinations||Patient / Employer||Please enquire|
|Private Tests and Investigations||Patient/Employer||Please enquire|
|Private Lab Tests||Patient/Employer||Please enquire|
Forms and certificates
|Item / service||Who pays?||Charge|
|Manual records or combination of manual/computer records -with collection at surgery||Patient / Solicitor||up to £50.00|
|Childminding and Day Care Registration Health Declaration/Medical Reference||Patient / Employer||£30|
|Letter of appeal against adverse decision on blue badge application||Patient||£20 to 40 depending on level of detail needed|
|Vaccination history (verified by GP)||Patient||£20.00|
|Provident association claim form (e.g. BUPA/PPP)||Patient||£30.00|
|Fitness for sport, school, university, etc||Patient||£20.00|
|Full physical medical examination and report, eg HGV, PSV, some minicab applications (GP will confirm fee on sight of application form)||Patient||£110.00|
|Driving licence photograph - note GPs have been removed from the list of accepted people to endorse UK driving license and passport photos||Patient||£20.00|
|Certificate of incapacity - this can include at the GP's discretion - a 'To whom it may concern' letter with brief details of a patient's medical condition||Patient||£25.00|
|Education Authority - Health Declaration Teaching||Patient||£30.00|
|Insurance claim form completion||Patient||£30.00|
|Certificate of existence/confirmation of registered address||Patient||£15.00|
|Item / service||Who pays?||Charge|
|Pregnant woman's medical certificate attesting fitness to fly noting their good health and indicating the baby's expected date of birth||Patient||£20|
|Fitness to travel certificate - pre-existing illness (no examination)||Patient||£30|
|Fitness to travel certificate (with examination)||Patient||£60|
|Prescription for vaccination and drugs required solely for travel purpose e.g. Malaria tab (per item)||Patient||£15|
|Holiday cancellation simple certificate||Insurance Company / Patient||£15|
|Simple certificate from GP detailing prescription medicines with surgery stamp||Patient||£15|
|Computer printout of current medications endorsed with surgery stamp||Patient||£10|