IMPORTANT INFORMATION

-48 HOUR PRESCRIPTION ORDER POLICY
-ZERO TOLERANCE POLICY TOWARDS ALL STAFF NO ABUSE WILL BE ACCEPTED
-UNREASONABLE DEMANDS ON SPECIFIC CLINICIANS WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED AS PER PRACTICE POLICY

IMPORTANT PRACTICE INFORMATION

THERE IS A 48 HOUR PRESCRIPTION ORDER POLICY WITHOUT EXCEPTION – SEE LINK ZERO TOLERANCE POLICY TOWARDS ALL STAFF – NO ABUSE WILL BE ACCEPTED UNREASONABLE DEMANDS ON SPECIFIC CLINICIANS WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED AS PER PRACTICE POLICY

Private Non NHS Work Policy

Private Non-NHS Work Policy

The doctors do not issue letters stating patients are ‘fit’ to do any activities such as fly, use a gym, run a marathon, parachute, cycle or participate in any activity they have chosen to, as they have no specialist way of assessing this, and it is inappropriate, and non-contractual. In some cases, a summary of medical problems can be provided to allow the relevant party to make their own decision on your fitness. Please do not be offended when any such request is declined.

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.

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 doctor’s regulatory body) or even the Police.

Examples of non-NHS services for which GPs can charge their own NHS patients are:-

  • accident/sickness certificates for insurance purposes
  • school fee and holiday insurance certificates
  • reports for travel/work purposes

Examples of non-NHS services for which GPs can charge other institutions are:-

  • life assurance and income protection reports for insurance companies
  • reports for the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) in connection with disability living allowance and attendance allowance
  • medical reports for local authorities in connection with adoption and fostering

It is important to understand that GPs are not employed by the NHS; they are self-employed and they have to cover their costs – staff, buildings, heating, lighting etc. – in the same way as any small business.  The NHS covers these costs for NHS work but for non-NHS work the fees charged by GPs contribute towards their business costs.

With certain limited exceptions, for example a GP confirming that one of their patients is not fit for jury service, GPs are under no obligation 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 insurance purposes, they are not required to do such non-NHS work 

The BMA (British Medical Association) suggests fees that GPs may charge their patients for non-NHS work (i.e. work not covered under their contract with the NHS) in order to help GPs set their own professional fees.  However, the fees suggested by the BMA are intended for guidance only; they are not recommendations and a doctor is not obliged to charge the rates suggested. 

The Surgery will always prioritise NHS clinical work before any private work is completed.  Time spent completing forms and preparing reports takes the GP away from the medical care of his or her patients.  GPs have a very heavy NHS workload already and paperwork takes up an increasing amount of their time, so the GP’s often have to complete this at evenings and weekends. 

We will advise you in advance how much the private work you are requesting is likely to cost.  It is up to individual doctors to decide how much they will charge.

Do not expect GP to process private work overnight – we endeavour to complete private work within 14 days, but this is not guaranteed and will depend on our NHS workload.  We will advise you when you request how long it is likely to take and you are welcome to seek another private opinion if our timescales do not fit your requirements.  On some occasions if the GP agrees to make special arrangements to complete your request urgently, then this is likely to be charged at double the usual rate.   

The practice reserves the right to refuse any non NHS work we feel is inappropriate or outside our area of expertise.