YOUR QUESTIONS ANSWERED
WHY DO GP’S CHARGE FEES?
ISN’T THE NHS SUPPOSED TO BE FREE?
The National Health Service provides health services to most people free of charge but there are some 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 is not covered by the NHS for example, medical reports for insurance companies, claim forms for referral for private care and other letters and forms which require the doctor to review the patient’s medical records.
East Barnet Health Centre
149 East Barnet Road
Tel: 020 8449 7417
Fax: 020 8447 0126
SURELY THE DOCTOR IS BEING PAID ANYWAY?
It is important to understand that GP’s are not employed by the NHS, they are independent contractors and they have to cover their costs - staff, building, heating, lighting etc. - in the same way as any small business. The NHS pays the doctor for specific NHS work but not for non-NHS work the fee has to be covered.
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 doctors in a whole range of non-medical work. Sometimes the only reason the GP’s are asked to do this work is because they are in a position 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 NHS patients are:
- Travel vaccinations not covered under NHS services
- Private medical insurance reports
- Holiday cancellation claim forms
- Referral for private care
- Letters requested by, or on behalf of, the patient.
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 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 and paperwork takes up an increasing amount of their 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 medical records. Carelessness or an inaccurate report can have serious consequences for the doctor, with the General Medical Council or even the police.
What will I be charged?
The BMA recommends that GP’s tell patients in advance if they will be charged and how much. It is up to the individual practice to decide how much to charge, but the BMA produces a list of suggested fees for the doctor’s to use as a guideline.
Charges at East Barnet Health Centre
At East Barnet Health Centre we have a list of fees available at reception and they are also included in this leaflet.
What else do I need to know?
Please ensure you allow yourself enough time for the doctor to complete the form. This may take up to 7 - 10 working days.
Please fill out any sections on the form that you need to complete. Your doctor will also require you to complete a consent form they are available on request at reception. Please make sure you sign and date this form along with stating which organisation you are giving permission to access information from your medical file. In the event that we are sending the information directly to the organisation please ensure you inform us if you would like to see the report before it is sent, this can be added to the consent form. Most forms are not sent directly and you will need to collect the paperwork from reception.
Susie Mallon is our Medical Records Administrator and is available to speak to during the following hours:
Monday: 10am - 1pm
Tuesday: 10am - 1pm
Thursday: 10am - 1pm
Fees for travelling abroad
Meningitis A&C ~ £50.00 per injection
Hepatitis B ~ £40.00 per adult injection
Yellow Fever ~ £70.00 per injection
FEES - CASH ONLY
For Non NHS Services
- Private Certificate - £25.00
- Private Prescription - £15.00
- Driving Licence Photograph - £25.00
- Holiday Cancellation/Fitness - £35.00
- Freedom From Infection Certificate - £40.00
- Fitness to Join Health Club - £30.00
- Fitness to Travel Certificate - £25.00
- To Whom It May Concern letter - from £25.00
- Housing Report - £25.00
- Private Medical Insurance Claim forms - £35.00
- School Fees Insurance Claim forms - £35.00
- Other Private Medical Forms - £30.00
- Accident Claim Forms - £35.00
- Medical Examination Including report From £45.00
- Private hire/DVLA medical :£125.00
Any fees not listed please speak to our Medical Records Administrator
Fees are subject to change
Any request for copies not collected after one calendar month from the request date will be point into confidential waste.