The NHS provides most health care to most people free of charge, but there are exceptions i.e. prescription charges and there are a number of other services for which fees are charged. Sometimes the charge is made to cover some of the cost of treatment e.g. dental fees, in other cases it is because it is not covered by the NHS for example medical reports for insurance companies.
Private medical services are not covered by the NHS and there is a fee charged to cover the costs of the extra work.
What is covered by the NHS and what is not?
NHS England's contract with GPs covers medical services to NHS patients. In recent years, 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 be sure that information provided is true and accurate.
Examples of non-NHS services for which GPs can charge their NHS patients are:
Examples of non-NHS services for which GPs can charge other institutions are:
I only need the doctor's signature - what is the problem?
In order to complete even the simplest of forms the doctor might have to check the patient's entire medical record. Carelessness or an inaccurage report can have serious consequences for the doctor with the General Medical Council or even the Police.
What will I be charged?
You will not be charged for a Subject Access Request for your own medical record, or part of it, unless this is repeated and excessive. (identity verification will be required).
Polden Medical Practice will tell patients in advance if they will be charged and how much. There is a list of fees in the Dispensary on the notice board. Fees are reviewed annually. Please select the link below to view the charges
What can I do to help?
Not all documents need signing by a doctor, for example passport applications. You can ask another person in a position of trust to sign such documents free of charge.
Do not expect your GP to process forms overnight; urgent requests may mean that a doctor has to make special arrangements to process the form quickly, and this will cost more.
111 is the NHS non-emergency number. It's fast, easy and free. Call 111 and speak to a highly trained adviser, supported by healthcare professionals.
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