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.
The BMA (British Medical Association) suggest fees for non-NHS work which is not covered under GP’s NHS contract, to help GPs set their own professional fees. However, the fees are guidelines only, not recommendations, and a doctor is not obliged to charge the rates suggested.
The BMA recommends that GPs tell patients and third parties in advance if they will be charged, and how much. It is up the individual doctor to decide how much to charge.
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?
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 have to complete this work outside of and in addition to their normal hours.
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 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.
Click here to view a list of Non-NHS fees
Travel-Vacc-Fees-2020 to view a list of Travel Vaccination Fees
Whilst our GPs will always attempt to assist patients with the completion of these forms, they are not required to do such non-NHS work. We aim for a turnaround period of 21 days, however, GPs have a very heavy workload and time spent completing these non-NHS forms and preparing reports takes the GP away from the medical care of his or her patients, so occasionally this is sometimes a little longer.