Not all services are free on the NHS. There is a range of non-NHS services for which GPs can charge a fee which is based on the time and effort involved.
The NHS provides most health care to most people free of charge, but there are exceptions e.g. prescription charges. There are a number of other services for which fees are charged. Sometimes the charge is made to cover cost of treatment e.g. travel vaccinations, dental treatment. In other cases, the service is not covered by the NHS e.g. 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.
GPs are not employed directly by the NHS and are self-employed and have to cover costs e.g. staff, building, heating, lighting etc. in the way as any small business.
The NHS pays the GP for specific NHS work, but not for non-NHS work. Time spent completing forms and preparing reports takes the GP away from the medical care of his/her patients. Non-NHS work must be undertaken outside of NHS contracted time. 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 will need to check the medical records.
From the 25 May 2018, in most cases, patients can request access to their medical records (Subject Access Request – SAR) free of charge, including when a patient authorises access by a third party such as a solicitor. A reasonable fee can be charged if the request is manifestly unfounded or excessive. If the request is for a medical report (rather than a SAR) then this falls under the Access to Medical Reports Act (AMRA) and will be handled in the usual way. The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) does not change the AMRA.
Please be aware that we no longer provide Hep B injections for Occupational Health reasons.
Accident or sickness certificates for insurance purposes
Certain travel vaccinations
Certificates for school
Holiday insurance and cancellation forms
Referral or private care forms
Reports or letters for health clubs to certify the patient is fit to exercise
Letters requested by, on behalf of, the patient
You may contact the surgery to enquire about fees that are currently charged.
- Doctor’s signature (inc VAT) £24.00
- Vaccination history (inc VAT) £24.00
- Insurance forms start from £35.00
- One page letter (inc VAT) £48.00
- 1.5 to 2 page letter (inc VAT) £60.00
- Targeted insurance reports £50.00
- Holiday cancellation Forms £50.00
- GP Reports (inc VAT) £104.00
- DVLA Medicals (inc VAT) £135.60
- DVLA (pt) (B1V Fitness to drive) (inc VAT) £48.00
- Ministry of Defence (veterans UK) £39.09
- Adoption Medical £39.22
- PIP Letter (non-chargeable)
- Private blood test (dependent on laboratory costs)
- Medical form questionnaire £48.00
- Power of Attorney £48.00
- Firearms / Shotgun Licence £54.00
- Quotient Sciences (pharmaceuticals) £106.40
- Last Will & Testament £48.00
- Private Blood test (dependent on lab costs).
Why is there a charge for this letter/service?
The NHS provides certain services which GPs offer and for which they are paid by the NHS. There are many things which patients request from GPs which are not covered by this. All of these things need to be paid for.
How long will it take?
We aim to complete all forms and all letters within 2 weeks of receipt of request.
Why do private services take longer than NHS services?
NHS and Private services should take the same 2 weeks as above. The surgery has to prioritise NHS “jobs”. Most GPs are working in excess of 12 hours a day doing their NHS work, so private work is done on top of that.
I only need a quick letter. Why does it cost that much?
Private services are entirely optional. The surgery actually doesn’t have to offer any of them. We do so because we know that patients sometimes find the services valuable and we know that it can be hard to find another private provider. However we have to value our own time and that of our staff and so we set our costs accordingly.
I need a taxi/HGV medical and I don’t have any medical conditions. Why does it cost the same for me as for someone with a complex history?
We charge a standard fee for all taxi and HGV medicals. We are filling in the same legal documents regardless of your medical condition. Sometimes some patients do take longer than others but we take the view that this is the fairest way. There are other providers of taxi and HGV medicals if you would rather go elsewhere.
Why has my life insurance request taken so long?
Some private requests come from insurance companies. They often offer an unacceptable amount of payment and so negotiation has to take place and payment must be received before we will agree to complete and release the forms. This can take up to three weeks and can sometimes delay forms being completed. You are welcome to contact your insurance company if you are concerned about the delay.
I cannot afford to pay what you are asking.
We are sorry but we are unable to offer a sliding scale of fees. We charge what these items are worth. As previously stated, none of these things have to be done through the GP. If you find a cheaper service elsewhere you are welcome to use that service.
Can you just give it to me now and I will bring the money in later?
All payments are required on collection of the document/s in the form of cash or cheque. If the receptionist is unclear whether the doctors can complete your request they will ask the doctors and contact you
My employers want me to get this blood test or this letter. Can I have it on the NHS?
Blood tests requested by employers should be offered through Occupational Health. Your employer should have access to an Occupational Health scheme. We do not do these blood tests on the NHS.
We are sometimes asked for letters from employers about a patient’s fitness. This is rarely appropriate from a GP and should come via Occupational Health. We will write a letter stating current condition and past medical conditions but we will not comment on fitness to carry out a particular job.
I need copies of my notes for my solicitor.
When a solicitor asks for copies of your notes, as long as we have your consent, we will provide them. Please note: solicitors are increasingly asking for copies of your notes rather than for a report. This is because there is a fixed (smaller) charge for copies of your notes. If you are happy for the solicitor to have copies of all your notes we will provide this. However please be aware that this can mean both sides of any dispute getting access to your notes and that everything you have ever mentioned to a doctor will be included. Many patients are unaware of this and are then embarrassed or upset when seemingly irrelevant facts are used by lawyers in a dispute. We would normally recommend refusing consent for your notes to be copied and asking the lawyer to request a targeted report instead.
If notes are requested in full, they will be sent recorded delivery direct to the solicitor.