What is non-NHS work and why is there a fee?
The National Health Service 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 charges exist because the service is not covered by the NHS, for example, providing medical reports for Insurance companies or Employers.
The Government’s contract with NHS General Practice covers medical services to NHS patients but not non-NHS work.
The time spent completing forms and preparing reports takes GPs away from providing medical care to patients and contributes for the heavy workload in Primary care. The surgery will always prioritise the care of patients. As a result, non-NHS work may take longer to complete. Some reports and correspondence may also be complex and requires information to be gathered from a number of different sources. Other reports may require a medical examination. The factors also influence the time taken to complete reports.
I only need the Doctor’s signature – what’s 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 may have to check the patient’s entire medical record. An inaccurate report can have serious consequences for the patient and for the Doctor who may become the subject to an investigation by the General Medical Council (the Doctors’ regulatory body) or even the Police.
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