The NHS provides most healthcare and healthcare services free of charge to UK residents, but there are some exceptions.
GPs themselves have to cover operational and running costs – buildings, equipment, heating, lighting, maintenance, insurance, staff etc. Therefore professional fees charged must reflect a contribution to these costs as well as professional time.
Individual practices decide how much to charge for non-NHS services. There are no standard charges and ‘price fixing’ between practices is not allowed.
What can be charged for?
Examples include the following:
- Medicals for pre-employment, sports and driving requirements (HGV, PSV etc.)
- Passport signing
- Prescriptions for taking medication abroad
- Private sick notes
- Vaccination certificates
Examples of Non-NHS services for which the practice can charge other organisations include:
- DWP/Benefits Agency Reports
- European working time directive certification
- Medical Reports for Insurance Companies
- Reports for Solicitors
We can usually inform you of the likely charge when you ask for the paperwork to be completed.
Hawthorn Medical Centre may be willing to provide some non-NHS services for patients not registered with the practice. Please ask to speak to one of the Practice Secretaries to discuss your request. A practice secretary is available from Monday – Friday 9:30am – 3:30pm.
When can I collect my documents?
The GPs of Hawthorn Medical Centre generally try to complete forms, documents , letters or reports within two working weeks. Reports for other organisations are usually completed within four working weeks.
Please do not expect your doctor to process forms overnight. Urgent requests may mean that a Doctor has to make special arrangements to process the form quickly. This may cost more than the standard rate.
Please remember that time spent on this type of paperwork takes the doctors away from patient care and other demands on their time. Clinical care will always be their first priority.
Why do I pay for just a signature?
A Doctor can only sign what they know to be true.
The production of an inaccurate report can have serious consequences to the Doctor with the General Medical Council (GMC) or even the police.
It often takes a considerable time to read through and check medical records, to answer all the questions raised.
Some documents do not need a Doctor’s signature, For example – passport applications. Another person in a position of trust might not charge to sign such documents.