We ask that you DO NOT book an appointment with a GP to discuss a request to complete a form or report, unless you have been asked to do so by a member of the surgery.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)
Under GDPR there is not usually a fee for access to medical records (Subject Access Requests). Access to records will be provided via the online ‘Patient Access’ facility where patients are able to view and print their records. We will require patients to bring in photo identification to gain access to this facility. Please note that patient records cannot be sent via post.
There will continue to be charges for GP reports, letters or forms as this work is not part of the GP’s NHS contract and considered to be private work. This is practice policy and has not been decided by your GP. Alternatively please request a call from a member of the admin team to discuss further.
Administrative requests may take up to four weeks to complete.
Why GPs sometimes charge fees, surely the doctor is being paid anyway?
It is important to understand that many GPs are not employed by the NHS. They are self-employed and they have to cover their costs in the same way as any other small business. The NHS covers these costs for NHS work, but for non-NHS work, for example, completing travel forms or producing medical reports, the fees charged by GPs contribute towards their costs.
In recent years, however, 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 ensure that information provided to them is true and accurate.
Examples of non-NHS services for which GPs can charge:
- HGV license applications
- Private sick notes
- Medicals for insurance purposes
- Holiday cancellation forms
- Statements of fact
- To Whom It May Concern letters
Do GPs have to do non-NHS work for their patients?
Whilst GPs will always attempt to assist their patients with the completion of forms, for example for insurance purposes, they are not required to do such non-NHS work.
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 or her patients. Most GPs have a very heavy workload and paperwork takes up and increasing amount of their time, so many GPs find they have to take some paperwork home at night and weekends.
We currently estimate that any for handed in for a GP to complete will take up to 20 working days. We will of course taken any deadlines into consideration, but cannot promise completion by this date.
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.
In order to complete even the simplest of forms, therefore, the doctor might have to check the patient’s entire medical record. Carelessness or an inaccurate report can have serious consequences for the doctor with the General Medical Council (the doctors’ regulatory body) or even the Police.
Is it true that the BMA sets fees for non-NHS work?
The British Medical Association (BMA) suggest fees that GPs may charge their patients for non-NHS work (i.e. work not covered under their contract with the NHS) in order to help GPs set their own professional fees. However, the fees suggested by them are intended for guidance only; they are not recommendations and a doctor is not obliged to charge the rates they suggest.
What will I be charged?
Please refer to our list of charges, found in our leaflet here. This is not an extensive list and we would ask that you contact the surgery two working days following our receipt of your request. This will allow the surgery to assess your form and provide you with an accurate charge.
What can I do to help?
Not all documents can be signed by a Doctor, for example Passport applications. You can ask another person in a position of trust to sign such documents free of charge. Read the information that comes with these types of forms carefully before requesting your GP to complete them.
Can I see my complete report before it is returned?
If you have previously signed consent and requested to view your report before it is returned we will contact you to arrange this once the report is completed by the doctor. If no prior agreement has been arranged and you would like to see your completed report before it is returned please contact us to arrange this.
Why do I need to bring ID to collect my form?
We now request that you bring identification with you to collect any forms or letters you have requested from the surgery, this is to prevent breach of confidentiality or information falling into the wrong hands.
If you are unable to collect your own forms we ask that whoever is collecting on your behalf brings their own ID and that you inform the surgery prior to collection.