Why GP’s Charge Fees?
Ashville Medical Practice Fees for Non NHS Work
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.
Surely the doctor is being paid anyway?
It is important to understand that many 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 fees charged by GPs contribute towards their costs.
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 on 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.
Why does it sometimes take my GP a long time to complete my form/letter?
Time spent completing forms & preparing reports takes the GP away from the medical care of patients. Caring for patients will always be the top priority. GPs have an ever increasing workload of forms which must be prioritised against offering appointments and other urgent administration. We aim to complete non-NHS work within two weeks of receipt.
I only need the GP's signature - what's 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.