Why do I have to pay?
The NHS will provide most health care to people free of charge; however there are a few exceptions.
The NHS will cover the costs for NHS work but not the costs for any non-NHS work. Subsequently, any fee charged for non-NHS work will cover the GP’s costs for providing the service.
Charges are made to cover the costs of the treatment to the patient, or because the service is not covered by the NHS.
GP’s are self employed and as such have to cover the increasing costs of staff, buildings, heat and light etc.
What is covered by the NHS and what is not?
The government’s contract with GP’s covers medical services to NHS patients. In recent years, more and more organisations have been involving doctors in a whole range of non-medical work. Sometimes the only reason that GP’s are asked 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 GP’s can charge their patients are:
Medicals for pre-employment driving requirements (HGV, PSV etc.)
Prescriptions for taking medication abroad
Private sick notes
To Whom it May Concern letters
Accident/ sickness insurance certificates
Some travel vaccinations
Examples of non-NHS Services for which GP’s can charge other institutions are:
Medical reports for insurance agencies
DVLA reports and medicals
Examinations of local authority employees
How are charges decided?
The British Medical Association (BMA) issue guidelines on suggested fees although each individual practice will set their own charges for each of the services they provide. Burney Street Practice carries out periodic reviews of charges and endeavours to follow a fair charging policy.
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/her patients. Most GP’s have a very heavy workload, the majority of GP’s work can add up to 60 hours a week and paperwork takes up an increasing amount of their time. In addition non-NHS work must be undertaken outside of NHS contracted time.
I only need the doctor’s signature, what is the problem?
When a GP is required to complete a certificate or a report it is a condition remaining on the Medical Register that they sign only what they know to be true and accurate from a patient’s medical record.
Inaccurate reporting can have serious consequences for the GP from the General Medical Council or even the police.
The GP may have to check the patient’s medical record and this can be very time consuming in addition to their already heavy clinical workload.
The Practice endeavours to provide a 4-6 week turnaround for this type of work. We are aware that there may be occasions when a request is deemed as urgent, however if not given adequate time then this may not be possible to complete at short notice.
We do not provide letters to support housing applications unless we are written to by the housing association or council, together with a letter of consent from the patient.
We do not provide letters supporting immigration applications
We do not sign passport application forms
Private Fees/Non NHS service price list
The services shown are not provided under the National Health Service (NHS) contract and the following fees will be charged.
Fee is paid prior to delivery of service unless by prior written agreement, where payment will be via invoice
|Accident/sickness certificates for insurance purposes
|School fee and holiday insurance certificates
|Reports for health clubs to certify that patients are fit to exercise
|Private prescriptions e.g. for travel purposes
|Not currently offered unless available under NHS vaccine programme.
|GP certificate or letter of fact
|Private sick note
|Validation of private medical insurance claim e.g. BUPA, AXA, and Vitality Health.
|TFL Taxi license medical (need eye test prior to appointment)
|HGV medical (need eye test prior to appointment)
|Fit to fly letter
|Fitness for education to attend university, college, teacher or nurse training.
|Criminal compensation form
|Other written pro-forma, no examination needed – prices from.
|Other written report with detailed opinion and statement of patient’s condition without examination.
Non-NHS services charge other institutions are:
(Fee is charged to institution prior to report being completed)
|Life assurance and income protection reports for insurance companies (PMA report) e.g. from HSBC, L&G
|Reports for the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) in connection with disability living allowance and attendance allowance.
|(charge stated on form)
|Medical reports for local authorities in connection with adoption and fostering.
|(charge stated on form)
We do not sign passport applications
Medical Records Request under GDPR
|Full summary of record
|Copy of full medical records
Due to a large increase in clinical workload Burney Street Practice has decided to outsource our insurance reports and other factual report requests to Medi2Data who will process your request using their system eMR.
What is Medi2Data?
Medi2Data is an NHS Digital accredited company who have developed a digital system called eMR which enables GP practices to create digital, GDPR compliant medical reports.
Housing Letters and GP Letters of Support
Burney Street Practice is committed to supporting our patients. However, when applying for benefits, housing, passes, adjustments or any other matter where medical conditions may be relevant, we will only supply this information when approached formally by a third party for a factual report.
We will not supply letters of support directly to patients.
Please note all requests from the third party will require the patients’ formal consent.
We will only complete factual responses. We are not able to give an opinion. If in doubt we will refuse to complete the request and may issue a copy of medical records instead with your consent.
Be aware we charge for any requests.
We do not provide letters for housing, so please do not request these. Whilst we appreciate that housing problems can be stressful, this is a matter for the council housing office. If the council requires additional medical information, they will send a specific form to the GP surgery. You will need to provide your written consent for this.
If you are intending to apply for a council home for health reasons you do not need to send a letter from the GP.
The Council will write, in confidence, to your doctor if further information is required.
GPs receive frequent requests for medical letters and reports in support of housing applications from a variety of sources – the local authority, housing associations, directly from patients and from patients via Citizens Advice Bureau. The arrangements for seeking GP reports and for payment vary from local authority area to local authority area, and even when clearly agreed are often not implemented by local authority staff. However all requests should come via the Council or Housing Association and not the patient.
Information in support an application based on health grounds should be supplied by the applicant using a form provided by the Housing Department (self-assessment). This should not require any input from the GP/practice.
Only if additional information is required, should the Housing Department Medical Officer obtain it from the applicant’s doctor, preferably using a standard form, provided the patient has given written consent. The Medical Officer should seek information which is only available to the GP, for example:
severity of the illness;
We understand that patients are often wrongly advised to get a letter from their GP and we can supply you with a letter outlining the above that you can show to anyone wrongly directing you to us for such documentation.