LOWTHER MEDICAL CENTRE - LIST OF PRIVATE FEES
PLEASE NOTE: Routine requests can take up to 10 weeks to process and are dealt with in order received. If you have an URGENT request, please provide details which will be passed to the Clinician.
Letters requiring posting will incur an additional administration fee of £2.50 and must be paid for in advance.
For details of fees please contact our Reception team or Medical Secretaries.
Why do GPs sometime charge fees?
Isn’t the NHS supposed to be free? The National Health Service provides most health care to most people free of charge but there are exceptions. 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 is not covered by the NHS, for example providing copies of health records or producing medical reports for insurance companies.
Surely the doctor is being paid anyway? It is important to understand that your GPs are not employed by the NHS but they work for the NHS. They are self-employed and they have to cover their costs, e.g. secretarial time, buildings, heating, lighting etc. – in the same way as any small business. The NHS covers some of 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. Examples of non-NHS services for which patients are charged are accident/sickness certificates for insurance purposes, holiday insurance certificates, letters, private examinations eg HGV, taxi medicals.
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 of 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.
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.
What will I be charged? The BMA produce lists of suggested fees but it is up to individual Doctors to decide how much they will charge depending on the content.