Why do GPs charge a fee?
The NHS provides most health care to most people free of charge, but there are exceptions. Prescription charges have existed since 1951 and there are a number of other services for which fees are charged.
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, medical reports for insurance companies, claims on private health insurance and other letters and forms which require the doctor to review the patient’s medical records.
It is important to understand that GP’s are not employed by the NHS, they are self employed and they have to cover their cost – staff, heating, lighting etc., in the same way as many small businesses. The NHS pays the doctor for specific NHS work, but for the non-NHS work, the fee has to cover the doctor’s costs.
Examples of work that incurs a fee:
- Insurance reports
- Letters from the doctor
- Taxi forms
- Holiday cancellation
- Private sick notes
- Letters for employers/schools
- Letters for PIP/benefit appeals
- Copies of Medical Records
Processing of non-NHS Work
We need any request for non-NHS work in writing. Once your request is received and paid for it will be passed on to the doctor for completion. If the request has come from a third party, such as an insurance company, we will invoice them directly. We will ask for your written consent, unless there is no legal obligation to do so. We operate a pay in advance system and work will not commence until the invoice is paid.
Priority must be given to the immediate care of patients, which offered with the NHS activities. Due the increasing demand on our doctors, please allow at least 4 weeks from time of payment for the work to be completed.
If your request is for a medical exam, you will be contacted directly with an appointment time and date.
As a small business, we are registered with HMRC to pay VAT. This means that VAT will be included in the invoice you are provided. Your invoice will have a breakdown of how much VAT is included and our VAT registration number.
Some work is VAT exempt, however this will all be evident on your invoice.