Why do we sometimes charge fees?
The NHS provides health care free of charge, but there are exceptions.
It is important to understand that GPs are self-employed and offer their services to the NHS and they have to cover their costs eg. staff, buildings, heating, lighting, etc. The NHS covers these costs for NHS work, but for non-NHS work.
The British Medical Association (BMA) suggests fees for non-NHS work which is not covered under a GP’s NHS contract. However, these fees are guidelines only, not recommendations, and a doctor is not obliged to charge the rates suggested.
Why can it take a long time to complete a 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 NHS workload and this paperwork is done in around the patient care.
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.
What is the charge?
|Straightforward certificates of fact. To whom it may concern letters. eg: housing||£18|
|More complex certificates|
|Private sick note (incapacity certificate) required by patient for presentation to an employer except for those which the doctor is obliged to provide for statutory sick pay purposes||£30 – £63|
|Accident or sickness insurance certificate – short certificate of incapacity without examination for patient to claim under accident or sickness insurance||£30 – £63|
|Freedom from infection certificate, eg for school, travel or employment||£30 – £63|
|Validation of private medical insurance (PMI) claim form, to support a claim for benefit in connection with private medical insurance, or completion of a pre-treatment form||£30 – £63|
|Health club brief written report to certify that a patient is fit for exercise||£30 – £63|
|School fees and holiday insurance certificates||£30 – £63|
|Examination following RTA within the first 24 hours of accident if not seen at hospital||£21|
|Private Taxi Medical||£75|
|HGV & Bus Medical||£90|
Work in surgery
|Extract from records||£67|
|Report on a pro forma, no examination (eg 20 minutes)||£89.50|
|Written report without examination, providing a detailed opinion and statement on the condition of the patient (eg 30 minutes)||£133|
The prices above are from the BMA website