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The Oaks Surgery

Nightingale Way






Telephone  - 01322 668775



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Non NHS Charges

Why do GPs charge fees?  Your questions answered.

Isn't the NHS supposed to be free? 

 The National Health Service provides most health care to most people free of charge, but there are exceptions:  Prescription charges have existed since 1951, and there are a number of other services for which fees are charged.  It is because these services are not covered by the NHS, for example, medical reports for insurance companies, claim forms for referral for private care and other letters and forms which require the doctor to review the patient's medical records.


 Surely the doctor is being paid anyway?

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 pays the doctor for specific NHS work, but for non-NHS work the fee has to cover our costs.


 What is covered by the NHS and what is not? The government'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. 


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

Letters requested by, or on behalf of, the patient
Accident/ sickness insurance certificates and reports
Certain travel vaccinations
Private medical insurance reports
Holiday cancellation claim forms
Referral for private care forms

Certificates for fitness to start a diet regime or join a gym

Medicals for HGV/ taxi/ PSV/ elderly drivers

Diving licence forms

Private sick notes

Examples of non-NHS services for which GPs can charge other institutions are:
Medical reports for an insurance company
Some reports for the DSS/Benefits Agency
Examinations of local authority employees


Why does it sometimes take my GP a long time to complete my form?

Time spent completing forms and preparing reports takes the GP away from the medical care of his/her patients.    GPs have a  heavy workload and paperwork takes up an increasing amount of their time. Meeting the needs of patients' medical problems obviously takes priority.


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 medical record.  Carelessness or an inaccurate report can have serious consequences


What will I be charged?

The BMA recommends that GPs tell patients in advance if they will be charged, and how much.  It is up to the individual practice to decide how much to charge, but the BMA produces lists of suggested fees for the Doctors to use as a guideline.


Charges at The Oaks Surgery

We have a list of fees displayed in the waiting room and is shown below.  The list below shows the most commonly requested services along with the fees charged (which are based on guidelines laid down by the British Medical Association).  Should a service be required that does not appear below, please speak with a receptionist who will be able to advise you.


Private Charges: November 2019





Fee (£)


Short private letter


Private sickness certificate


Driving licence photo endorsement


Seat belt exemption


Validation of private health insurance claim form


Validation of sickness or accident benefit claim form


Validation of other insurance claim form


Fitness to exercise certificate for health club/performing arts


Medical examinations for employment, DVLA licence, sports purposes


Report for employer/insurer - extract from records


Subject Access Request - digital

Free in most circumstances

Subject Access Request - paper/digital combined

Free in most circumstances

Freedom from infection certificate


Vaccination certificate


Holiday cancellation certificate


Fitness to travel certificate


Fitness to travel examination/report


Firearms medical report



Payment can be made by credit/debit card (in person at the surgery), cash or cheque (made payable to The Oaks Surgery) and must be received in advance of the service being provided.

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