Urgent note regarding private work. 

Due to extraordinary levels of sickness, we do not currently have secretarial support in the practice. We are endeavouring to rectify this, however we need to advise that requests may take longer than usual. We ask for your understanding in this matter. Please see our Medical Reports and Fees page for further information on why it is not a simple case of “getting a doctors signature.” We will do our very best in the meantime.

If you are need a report or a referral completed by a certain date, please plan ahead and factor in the time it will take the staff here to action these.

Medical Reports, Fees and Private Referrals

The NHS provides most health care free of charge. However there are a number of other services for which fees can be charged. These are mainly for services not covered by the NHS, such as medical reports for insurance companies. Doctors are involved in a whole range of non-medical work, largely on the basis that they occupy a position of trust within the community, and are in the position to verify the accuracy of information.

We are kindly reminding patients that these services do come at a cost and cannot be completed straight away.

If a GP signs a certificate or completes a report, it is a professional duty that s(he) checks the accuracy of such information. This may involve examining the patient’s entire medical record. Please allow the GP and medical secretary time to action these requests, this can sometimes take up to 21 days depending on the type of request.

We would also like to remind patients that we do not have secretarial cover for all the hours in which the surgery is open.

If you are need a report or a referral completed by a certain date, please plan ahead and factor in the time it will take the staff here to action these.

Why does my GP charge a fee for medical reports and letters?

The practice has a primary duty to provide services for the management of patients who are ill. Writing letters and reports (i.e. for insurance providers, adoption and fostering, driving (DVLA), housing and benefit appeals, schools, health clubs and employers) all falls outside of the NHS GP contract. When medical reports are provided they are a private service and as such, have to be completed in the GP’s own time outside of their paid NHS working hours. These services incur a fee.

What if I cannot afford to pay a fee?

Whilst we understand the financial pressures patients may be experiencing, we receive a high volume of these requests and set all of our fees based on the time the GP takes to complete the work, so that we are equitable to all patients and our doctors. We are not able to negotiate our rates or offer reduced prices.

Why does it sometimes take my GP some time to complete my form?

Time spent completing forms and preparing reports takes the GP away from the medical care of his or her patients.

Most GPs have a very heavy workload and paperwork takes up an increasing amount of their time, so many GPs find they are already doing extra NHS paperwork on their days off, in the evenings or at weekends. The time taken to complete a form will depend on their NHS workload and how many reports or letters have been requested by other patients at that time.

I only need the doctor’s signature – what is 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, 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.

What fee should I expect to pay?

Whenever we receive a request for a letter or report the doctor will review the request to work out how long they need to complete the report and therefore what fee to charge.

Unfortunately from time to time patients have asked for a report and then refused to pay once it has been completed by the doctor. This means we now usually ask patients to pay for the report before the doctor completes any work.

We will always tell the patient what the fee will be before the report is completed, so they can decide whether they want to go ahead.