Woodingdean Medical Centre

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Non-NHS Services – Chargeable

The National Health Service provides most healthcare to the majority of people free of charge, but there are exceptions. GPs are contracted to provide NHS general medical services for their patients, this does not include private reports, letters or forms.

Surely the Doctor is being paid anyway?

It is important to recognise that the Practice incurs costs for staff, facilities, and utilities to provide the high-quality care you deserve. While the NHS funds our core services, certain non-NHS work requires a fee. This ensures we can cover these extra costs without diverting resources from NHS appointments, maintaining our commitment to your health and care.

In recent years, more and more organisations have been involving General Practices in a whole range of non-medical work. Sometimes the only reason that GPs are asked to do non-medical work 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 GPs can charge their NHS patients are:

  • private medical insurance reports
  • holiday cancellation claim forms
  • referral for private care forms
  • letters requested by, or on behalf of the patient
  • certain travel vaccinations

Examples of non-NHS services for which GPs can charge other institutions are:

  • medical reports for an insurance company
  • some reports for the DSS/Benefits Agency
  • examinations of occupational health

Why does it sometimes take my GP a long time to complete my form?

NHS Clinical work is prioritised over preparing reports, to avoid taking the GP away from the medical care of our patients.

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.

What can I do to help?

  • If you have several forms requiring completion, present them all at once.
  • Do not expect your GP to process forms overnight

Examples of Non-NHS Services include the following: 

  • Medicals for driving requirements (HGV, PSV etc.) 
  • Foster medicals
  • Insurance Claim Forms 
  • Private Sick Notes 
  • Vaccination Certificates 

The fees charged are based on the British Medical Association (BMA) suggested rates. Practice Reception Staff will be happy to advise you about estimated charges along with appointment availability and timescales.