Non NHS Feesstethoscope

Not all services requested by patients are included by the NHS. Where patients request non-NHS items of service a Private Fee will be payable. ALL payments are to be made prior to the completion of each item of service. The scale of private fees can be downloaded from the right hand side

FAQs

Surely GPs are already being paid so why are fees charged?

Our GPs are not employed by the NHS, they are self-employed and have to cover their costs – staff, buildings, heating, lighting, etc – in the same way as any other small business. The Government’s contract with GPs covers medical services to NHS patients including the provision of ongoing medical treatment.

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 related expenses.

So, do GPs have to do non-NHS work for their patients?

With certain limited exceptions, your Doctor does not have to carry out non-NHS work; 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 letter/form?

Time spent completing forms and preparing reports takes GPs away from the medical care of their patients. GPs have an ever increasing workload, offering appointments and other urgent administration such as referrals and medication queries, which must be prioritised over this extra private work.

I only need a signature, why is there an issue?

When a GP signs a certificate, completes a report or writes a letter, it is a condition of their remaining on the medical register (which allows them to practice as a doctor), that they only sign what they know to be true. In order to complete even the simplest of forms, the doctor may have to check a patient’s entire medical record.

What will I be charged?

The British Medical Association (BMA – the professional association for doctors) suggests fees that may be charged in certain circumstances however these are intended for guidance only. Doctors are not obliged to charge these suggested rates and the fee levels will generally reflect the amount of work and time involved.

How long does the surgery need for the completion of reports, forms and letters?

We ask for 4 weeks’ notice although we do try and complete them sooner. Where a patient has an urgent request, this should always be explained to the receptionist who will note the request, however it is not always possible to process these faster since more clinically urgent work will always take precedent.

Why is there sometimes a charge after a road traffic accident?

Under the Road Traffic Act 1988, the first doctor providing emergency treatment to the victim of a road traffic accident is entitled to charge a fee. A fee may be levied in respect of each person treated (Section 158(2) of the Road Traffic Act 1988).

NHS funding does not cover the emergency treatment of road traffic accident (RTA) victims and GPs can charge a fee of £21.30 for each patient consulted. This fee is payable regardless of whether or not the patient is registered with the practice.

Patients are advised that this fee is payable at the time of the consultation and that they can reclaim the fee from the driver’s insurance company. This is their legal right that is laid down in statute.

The BMA advises that, since there may be a delay before injuries become apparent, anyone seen within one working day can be deemed an emergency.

Where the purpose for attending a GP surgery is to record injuries for future medico-legal purposes this is not covered by the Road Traffic Act and the GPs may charge their own rate for a private patient consultation regarding such an accident.

What can I do to help my GP?

Not all documents need a signature by a doctor, for example passport applications. You can ask another person in a position of trust to sign such documents free of charge.

If you have several forms requiring completion, present them all at once and ask your GP if he or she is prepared to complete them at the same time to speed up the process.

Do not expect your GP to process forms overnight. Urgent requests may mean that a doctor has to make special arrangements to process the form quickly, and this will cost more.

There is some medical examination and report work that can be done by any doctor, not only a patient’s GP. For this work there are no set or recommended fees, which means doctors may set their own fees.

What are the rules for those from overseas?

If you have moved “for a settled purpose” to our area from overseas you may register as a standard NHS patient. If you are here for a temporary period your entitlement depends on the nature of your condition and the country you are from.

Treatment that is deemed as immediately necessary there is no charge as long as this lasts no longer than 14 days. Medication will be issued on an NHS prescription and payable at the pharmacy.

If your treatment is not immediately necessary, you may be given free treatment if you live in a country with a reciprocal health care agreement with the UK – this normally applies for 3 months only.