Private Fees and Charges

Why do GPs charge fees?

The National Health Service provides most health care to most people free of charge but there are exceptions such as prescription charges and NHS dental fees. The NHS does not provide medical reports for insurance companies, claims on private health insurance and other letters and forms which require the doctor to review the patient’s medical records.

GPs are not employed by the NHS. The NHS pays the doctor for specific NHS work but for non-NHS work the fee has to cover the doctor’s costs. As the doctors are self-employed, their costs – staff, buildings, heating, lighting, printing, paper etc. – must be covered in the same way as any small business.

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

  • Private medical insurance reports
  • HGV licences and DVLA forms
  • Holiday cancellation forms
  • Letters requested by, or on behalf, of a patient

My form is for a charity event – can you waive the fee?

We are asked to fill in many forms for charity or fundraising events. The practice does not favour one charity or event over another so the fee cannot be waived.

How long should I allow for the work to be done?

Please allow up to 28 days for the work to be completed. The practice has a substantial volume of non-NHS work to complete weekly and it is all done in addition to the NHS work and hours. An additional charge may be levied for more urgent requests.

I only need the doctor’s signature – why do I have to wait?

When a doctor signs a certificate or completes a report, they have to take time to review the patient’s records first. Some forms, such as an initial gun licence, require the GP to review the medical records from birth to present day. Each doctor must also pay a three to four figure sum for indemnity each year, a significant proportion of which is solely to cover the completion of these non-NHS documents. Carelessness or an inaccurate report can have serious consequences for the doctor with the General Medical Council or even the Police.

How much will I be charged?

Please see our list of private fees and charges.

For more information please email a member of the admin team on downlandpractice@nhs.net.