Private Fees and Charges

Why do GPs Charge Fees

NHS Services Provided by GPs – the GMS Contract

GPs are not employed by the NHS, they are self-employed and they have a contract with the NHS to deliver specific work caring for patients. This is the General Medical Services (GMS) Contract. 

GPs are paid for providing services agreed in the contract. They are responsible for running their Practices and covering their costs e.g staff, building, heating, lighting etc in the same way as any small business.

For non-NHS services, which are not in the GMS contract, the Practice needs to charge a fee to cover the costs. This includes; medical reports for insurance companies, claims on private health insurance, other letters and forms which require the doctor to review the patient’s medical records and some vaccinations. 

What are Non-NHS Services

Fees for Non-NHS Services

The GMS contract between the NHS and GPs covers most medical services to NHS patients.

In recent years, other organisations have been involving doctors in non medical work. This is often about finding or verifying information contained in a medical record.

Examples of non-NHS services for which GPs can charge their patients; 

  • Private medical insurance reports.
  • Holiday cancellation forms.
  • Power of Attorney Certificates.
  • DVLA fitness to drive assessments.
  • Letters requested on behalf of the patient.
  • Certain travel vaccinations not available on the NHS.
  • Private prescriptions for medication not available on the NHS.

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

  • Medical reports for insurance companies.
  • Army medical forms.
  • Fostering & Adoption medicals.
  • Insurance questionnaires and proposals.
  • Employment medicals.
  • Firearms licences.

Waiting for Letters

Doctors and non-NHS letters

Time spent on completing forms and preparing reports takes the GP away from the medical care of patients. Most GPs have a heavy workload and paperwork takes up an increasing amount of their time.

Non-NHS work must be undertaken outside of NHS contracted 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. Therefore in order to complete even the simplest of forms, the doctor needs to check the patient’s entire record. Carelessness or an inaccurate report can have serious consequences for the doctor, with the General Medical Council or even the Police.