Payment can be made by cash, Debit Card or Visa/MasterCard credit card (including card payments over the phone). Please note that we are no longer able to accept cheques.
Why do GP's charge fees?
Your questions answered
The National Health Service provides most health care to most people free of charge, but there are exceptions. Prescription charges have existed since 1951, and there are a number of other services for which fees are charged. Sometimes the charge is made to cover some of the cost of treatment, for example dental fees. In other cases it is because the service isn't covered by the NHS, for example, medical reports for insurance companies, claims on private health insurance and other letters and forms which require the doctor to review the patient's medical records.
It is important to understand that GP's are not employed by the NHS, they are self employed, and they 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 doctor's costs
The British Medical Association (BMA) suggest fees that GPs may charge their patients for non-NHS work (ie work not covered under their contract with the NHS) in order to help GPs set their own professional fees.
Two BMA sites for further info-
What is covered by the NHS and what is not?
The governments contract with GP's covers medical services to NHS patients. In recent years, more and more organisations have been involving doctors in a whole range of non medical work. Sometimes the only reason that GP's are asked is because they are in a poisition 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 GP's can charge their patients
- Certain travel vaccinations
- Private medical insurance reports
- Holiday cancellation forms
- Referral for private care forms
- Letters requested by or on behalf of, the patient
- In certain instances fitness to work forms
- Medical examinations for HGV and PSV licences
Examples of non-NHS services for which GP's can charge other institutions are?
- Medical reports for an insurance company
- Some reports for the 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. Most GP's have a very heavy workload- the majority of GP's work up to 60 hours a week and paperwork takes up an increasing amount of their time. In addition non-nhs work must be undertaken outside of NHS contracted time.
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. Therefore in order to complete even the simplest of forms, the doctor needs to check the patient's entire record. carelessness or an inaccurate report can have serious consequences for the doctor, with the General Medical Council or even the Police
What if I need a medical examination?
Please speak to reception to book an appointment for a medical examination, you will be told the charges and the time it will take. You will need to bring your paperwork with you for the GP to complete and sign during the appointment.
If you need any further advice on fees and charges please contact Reception or the Practice Manager who will be happy to help further.