The NHS provides most health services to people free of charge, but there are some exceptions. Prescription charges have existed since 1951. Sometimes a charge is made because the service is not covered by the NHS; for example Medical Reports for Insurance Companies.
What is covered by the NHS and what is not?
The Governments contract with GPs covers medical services to NHS patients. Sometimes the only reason that a GP is asked to provide information is because they hold a position of trust in the community, or because an insurance company wants to be sure that the information provided to them is true and correct.
Examples of Non-NHS services which GP’s can charge their NHS patients:
- Accident/sickness insurance certificates and reports
- Certain travel vaccinations
- Private medical insurance reports
- Ofsted reports
- Reports for "fitness to start a diet regime"
- Medicals for HGV/Taxi/PSV
- Elderly Driver Medicals
- Holiday Cancellation forms
- Shotgun Certificate Verification
- Driving Licence Forms
Examples of non-NHS services which GP’s can charge other institutions:
- Medical reports for an insurance company
- Some reports for the DSS/Benefits Agency
- Examinations of local authority/Ofsted Reports
Why does it take so long for my GP to complete a form or report?
Time spent completing forms and preparing reports takes the GP away from the care of our NHS patients. Our GP’s have a heavy workload—paperwork takes up an increasing amount of time.
I only need a doctors signature—what is the problem?
When a doctor signs a certificate of report, it is a condition of 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 read a patients entire medical record.
For More information about charges visit the British Medical Association Website