Why do GPs charge fees?
Your questions answered
The National Health Service provides most health care 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 isn’t covered by the NHS, for example, medical reports for insurance companies, claims on private health insurance, other letters and forms which require the doctor to review the patient’s medical records and some vaccinations.
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 services the Practice needs to charge a fee to cover the doctor’s costs.
What is covered by the NHS and what is not?
The government’s contract with GPs 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 GPs are asked 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 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
Examples of non-NHS services for which GPs can charge other institutions
- 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 with the majority of GP’s working 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.
Fees for services not provided under the NHS
The services shown are not provided under National Health Service contracts and so the following fees will be charged by the Practice. If you have any questions relating to these fees, please address them to your Doctor or the Practice Manager before requesting the service.
Access to Medical Records (Patient)
£0.50 per sheet (copy) Min £10
Patient On-line Access - Free
Private Sick Note – Simple and no opinion
Private Sick Report – Complex and no opinion
Private Sick Report – Detailed report & opinion
Photo Copying of Medical Notes (Private Company)
To Whom It May Concern Letter (GP opinion)
(including Cambridge diet forms and water sure scheme)
Blue Badge Appeal (disabled parking)
DNA Test – private
Fostering & Adoption – Medical & Report
Assessment of Capacity
Power of attorney
Carers Care Break
Employment, Pre-Employment Medical and Report
£240.00 (inc VAT)
Employment, Pre-Employment Report (No Examination)
£150.00 (inc VAT)
Simple Certificate – no opinion
Complex report or extract from Medical Records – no opinion
Medical Assessment Reports (no medical)
Full Medical Examination with Report. Includes (but is not limited to) HGV, Pilot, Employment Medicals and council reports.
Hackney Carriage/ DVLA
Fitness to Travel
£25.00 (inc VAT)
Fitness to Travel Statement with Medical
Cancellation of Holiday Claim Form
£42.00 (inc VAT)
Temporary Residents Not Eligible for NHS treatment
Private Consultation (20 minutes)
Private Prescription (per item)
Other services and fees maybe available on request. We do not offer a passport photo signature service due to issues with data protection.
Travel and other Vaccination fees
Combined Hepatitis A & B Vaccination
See individual vaccines.
Combined Hepatitis A & Typhoid Vaccination
See individual vaccines.
Combined Tetanus, Diphtheria & Polio Vaccination
Hepatitis A Vaccination
Hepatitis B Vaccination
£40 per dose (£120 in total)
Influenza Vaccination (for non-qualifying patients)
£20 per dose
Japanese Encephalitis Vaccination
£85 per dose (£170 in total)
Prescription charges e.g. Malaria Tablets. There is no charge to children under the age of 16
Meningitis ACWY Vaccination including certificate
£50 per dose
£75 per dose (£225 in total)
Tick Borne Encephalitis Vaccination
£65 per dose (£195 in total)