Services which are outside the NHS Contract
Some services provided are not covered under our contract with the NHS and therefore attract charges. We receive many requests from our patients to complete forms or provide letters. We are happy to provide these where we can, but sadly there are occasions where we cannot.
The government’s contract with GPs covers medical services to NHS patients. However, in recent years more and more organisations have been involving doctors in a wide range of non NHS work. This work is not funded by the government, so GPs have to charge a fee to cover their time and other expenses.
For further information, or any queries you may have, including fees associated with Non-NHS work please email [email protected]
Examples of paperwork we can complete:
Please note that most of these are not NHS services and so we need to charge a fee.
- HGV medicals
- Most DVLA forms
- Life insurance application reports
- Reports for employer’s occupational health teams
- Firearm licensing reports for police
- GP-specific reports for state benefits
- Travel insurance claim reports
- Confirmation of dates of pregnancy for flying
- MEDIF forms for airlines – please note fitness to fly is determined by the airline’s medical team, not by GPs. We can complete a MEDIF form (GP’s report) for you to submit to the airline at least 48h before your flight.
- Flying with medications or needles letter
- Certification of sickness after one week of incapacity (no fee as NHS work)
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.
Our fees are listed below. You can read further information on the BMA guidance on GPs fees
Examples of paperwork we can’t complete
- SCUBA diving – needs to be completed by a doctor with specialist dive training
- Parachuting – should be completed by a doctor with aviation medicine training
- Pilot’s licenses – most need to be done by a doctor with aviation medicine training
- Last Power of Attorney – this is best completed by a solicitor.
- Passport application – doctors are no longer allowed to countersign these
- Character references
- Certifying copies of documents
- Confirming identity or address
- ‘Fit to participate’ forms for marathons, gymnasiums, sports etc. This is beyond the expertise of most NHS GPs. We recommend seeing a private cardiologist. We can provide a medical summary free of charge if that helps.
Your questions answered
Isn’t the NHS supposed to be free?
The National Health Service provides most healthcare to the majority people free of charge, but there are exceptions: for example, medical reports for insurance companies.
Surely the Doctor is being paid anyway?
It is important to understand that 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 fee has to cover the Doctor’s costs.
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 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:
- accident/sickness insurance certificates
- certain travel vaccinations
- private medical insurance reports
- statements of fact relating to general health e.g. for children’s dance classes
- Letters requested by, or on behalf of, the patient
- Holiday cancellation claim forms
- Referral for private care forms
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?
Time spent completing forms and preparing reports takes the GP away from the medical care of his or her patients. Most GPs have a very heavy workload – the majority work up to 70 hours a week – 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 or even the Police.
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 pre-employment, sports and driving requirements (HGV, PSV etc.)
- Insurance Claim Forms
- Prescriptions for taking medication abroad
- Private Sick Notes
- Vaccination Certificates
The fees charged are based on the British Medical Association (BMA) suggested scales and Practice Reception Staff will be happy to advise you about them along with appointment availability.