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.
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:
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.
Oakhill Surgery will tell patients in advance if they will be charged and how much. There is a list of fees in the waiting room on the notice board. Fees are reviewed annually.
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.
Please 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 may cost more.
As more procedures are becoming harder to access through the NHS, and companies are cutting back on offering staff private health insurance, there has been a significant increase in patients self-funding their treatment. Our local private hospital is Circle Bath. See Circle Bath self-pay for information and prices.
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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