Fees & Charges
The Government’s contract with GP’s covers medical services to NHS patients however in recent years more and more organisations have been involving doctors in a wide range of non-medical work. Sometimes the only reason that GP’s are asked is because they are in a position of trust in the community or because an insurance company, employer or public body wants to ensure that the information provided to them is true and accurate.
With certain limited exceptions such as a GP confirming that a patient is not fit for jury service GP’s DO NOT have to carry out non-NHS work. Many GP’s however will always attempt to assist their patients and carry out this work.
We accept card payments at the Girlington Health Centre.
Frequently Asked Questions
The following Questions and Answers are taken from advice by the British Medical Association (BMA) to help patients understand the fees charged by GP’s.
Surely the work is paid for by the NHS?
Many patients see their doctor as the embodiment of the NHS and all that it provides – free care at the point of delivery. However not all work doctors are asked to do is paid for by the NHS and many GPs are self-employed.
This means they must cover their time and costs - staff, buildings, heating, lighting, etc - in the same way as any small business. The NHS only pays for NHS work, any work outside of the NHS must be funded by other means and this is why fees are charged.
Why does it take so long?
Your doctor receives large amounts of request and which is often to do with whether your general health allows you to do something e.g. to work, receive benefits, drive, play sport, attend school, own a house, a firearm or it is for insurance, court or other medico-legal reasons.
All requests will vary in complexity, volume and consistency ranging from signing a certificate which can take minutes, to an in-depth report with an examination that can take hours.
What your doctor is signing
When your 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, they may have to check your entire medical record (some of which may not be accessible on a computer or on site).
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.
Why does my doctor seem reluctant or say no to this request?
Your doctor is inundated with work. They have to balance their time with treating the sick, keeping their practice afloat and making sure they are doing all of this safely and within their professional duties as a doctor.
With certain exceptions written within their contract, doctors do not have to carry out non-NHS work. However, many choose to for the benefit of you and other families they treat.
Where a doctor chooses to undertake the work, we advise them to inform and agree a fee in advance of undertaking work.