Non NHS Services
The National Health Service provides most health care to most people free of charge, but there are exceptions such as prescription charges. The NHS does not employ GPs but has a contract with them to provide NHS general medical services for their patients. Sometimes, however, GPs are asked to provides additional services, which fall outside their contract with the NHS, and in these circumstances, they are entitled to make a reasonable charge for providing them. It is up to the individual practice to decide how much to charge, although the BMA produces lists of suggested fees for the Doctors to use as a guideline.
When a doctor signs a certificate or completes a report, the doctor needs to check the patient’s entire medical record to ensure that they are providing accurate information. GPs will not be able to complete forms overnight, so please ensure that you give them reasonable notice. Not all documents need a signature by a doctor. For example, you could ask another person in a position of trust, who may be willing to sign a passport application free of charge. (Teacher, Accountant, etc).
If you have several forms requiring completion, present them all at once and ask the receptionist if bringing them as a ‘job lot’ can reduce the price. You can also complete the form to the best of your ability in pencil, so the doctor just has to quickly verify your entries against the information held by the practice.
What is covered by the NHS and what is not?
Examples of non-NHS services for which GPs can charge their NHS patients are:
- Signing passport application forms
- Certain travel vaccinations
- Private medical insurance reports
- Holiday cancellation claim forms
- Referral for private care forms
- Letters requested by, or on behalf of, the patient
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.