Non-NHS Services - DUE TO THE COVID SITUATION WE ARE NOT PROVIDING NON-NHS SERVICES AT PRESENT
Some services provided are not covered under our contract with the NHS and therefore attract charges. Examples include the following:
- Medicals for pre-employment, sports and driving requirements (HGV, PSV etc.)
- Insurance claim forms
- Prescriptions for taking medication abroad
- Private sick notes
- Vaccination certificates
Due to an increase in work load and work being under taken without payment we are changing how we deal with requests for Non-NHS Services. We will now require payment in advance of the work being undertaken. Please speak directly to reception or see below for more information on how to organise rather than speak to any of our clinicians. Thank you.
How Do I Request a Non-NHS Service?
Why do you do this?
What are my other FREE options?
How much do you charge?
How long will it take?
What services don’t you provide?
How do I request a Non-NHS Service?
Please complete a Request Form also available in reception. You will need to return the form in person as you will need to pay in advance. For Travel Vaccinations and Medication e.g. Malaria tablets please see the different process here. Please do not book an appointment to request a non-NHS service as you just be re-directed to reception to complete a request form.
Why do you do this?
Surely the doctor is being paid anyway?
It is important to understand that many GPs 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 covers these costs for NHS work, but for non-NHS work, the fees charged by GPs contribute towards their costs.
What is covered by the NHS and what is not?
The Government’s contract with GPs covers medical services to NHS patients, including the provision of ongoing medical treatment. In recent years, however, 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 ensure that information provided to them is true and accurate.
Do GPs have to do non-NHS work for their patients?
With certain limited exceptions, for example a GP confirming that one of their patients is not fit for jury service, GPs do not have to carry out non-NHS work on behalf of their patients. Whilst GPs will always attempt to assist their patients with the completion of forms, for example for insurance purposes, they are not required to do such non-NHS work.
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 their patients. Most GPs have a very heavy workload and paperwork takes up an increasing amount of their time, so many GPs find they have to take some paperwork home at night and weekends.
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. In order to complete even the simplest of forms, therefore, the doctor might have to check the patient's entire medical record. Carelessness or an inaccurate report can have serious consequences for the doctor with the General Medical Council (the doctors' regulatory body) or even the Police.
For more information visit the BMA website: http://bma.org.uk/support-atwork/pay-fees- allowances/fees/fee-finder/fee-finder-why-gps-charge-fees
What are my other, FREE, options?
Access to Records:
Many requests are to confirm medical history such as previous vaccinations. You can have access to your record online for free that you can share electronically or print. If you don’t have internet access we can print copies for you again for free. We have 1 month to provide copies of records but if it is something simple reception will likely do it there and then or if busy ask you to come back the next day. More complex requests for example for your whole record will take longer. Speak to reception for help and advice.
The council attaches no weight to these letters so we strongly advise that you don’t get one – if you wish to include medical information please see Access to Records above. If the council requires medical information they will contact us and they will be liable for any charge.
Absence from School:
If your child is unwell the school may ask you to provide a written note explaining your child’s absence from school. In most cases, this should be sufficient evidence for the school to authorise the absence. In some cases the school may request supportive evidence. In these cases, schools nationally have been asked to accept a prescription or an appointment card as evidence rather than a GP letter. Reception will happily provide an appointment card for you. If the school insists on a letter then there will be a charge and we suggest that you get agreement from the school first that they will cover the cost. Please also see Access to Records
Special Consideration for Exams:
Schools, colleges and universities should note that GPs will not provide sick notes in support of special consideration applications. A medical certificate is not necessary when making an application for special consideration where a candidate misses an exam or their performance in an exam is affected as a result of a temporary illness/injury. As long as the school/college supports the application for special consideration this is considered sufficient evidence. If the education service insists on a letter then there will be a charge and we suggest that you get agreement from them first that they will cover the cost. Please also see Access to Records.
Due to the time involved there is a considerable wait for us to complete HGV or Taxi medicals. These can be undertaken elsewhere, often at a cheaper rate, but they require your full medical history to do so. This can be provided free of charge for you to share with them allowing you to have more choice. Please see Access to Records for more information.
How much do you charge?
We band our work into 5 different categories – for a full breakdown, please see our Fees List. These prices are set in line with the British Medical Association (BMA) suggested scales. If you are unsure what category the work falls in then please speak to reception.
How long will it take?
We try to complete requests as soon as possible aiming for 7-14 days but please allow up to 28 days for us to complete the request as we have to do this work around our existing NHS commitments.
What services do you not provide?
GPs do not provide an occupational health service as part of their NHS responsibility nor can they provide this service to you even if it is funded by you. This includes vaccination against hepatitis B for the purpose of occupational health.
Under Health and Safety Regulations, your employer or educational institution has a duty to provide a safe working environment and, therefore, appropriate health advice for those at risk of infection with hepatitis B.
We advise you to contact your employer or educational institution who will be able to make arrangements with an occupational health provider for the provision of any immunisation which you may require following an appropriate assessment of the risk to which you are exposed.
If you are self-employed the responsibility for providing a safe working environment lies with yourself.