Non NHS Services

Non NHS Medical Examinations & Services

Medical Examinations for special purposes e.g. H.G.V., insurance or driving medicals etc, can be arranged with a doctor. The fee recommended by the British Medical Association is charged as these examinations are not available on the NHS.

There are a variety of forms which require a doctor's signature, e.g. private medical forms etc. The Doctor will complete these for you but please allow at least five working days for completion. Please ask at reception for the fee chargeable sheet.

We regret that we are unable to waive fees where medicals are required to undertake charity events. We have numerous requests of this nature and whilst we would like to be able to waive fees the partners would prefer to choose which charities they support.

Yelverton Surgery is now able to accept Credit and Debit card payments.

Why do GPs sometimes 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. Sometimes the charge is made to cover some of the cost of treatment, for example, dental fees; in other cases, it is because the service is not covered by the NHS, for example, medical reports for insurance companies.

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 covers these costs for NHS work, but for non-NHS work the fee has to cover the doctor's 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. 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:

  • accident/sickness insurance certificates
  • certain travel vaccinations
  • private medical insurance reports

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
  • reports for DVLA

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 an increasing amount of their time.

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.

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 doctor to decide how much to charge. The surgery has a list of fees on the notice board based on these suggested fees.

What can I do to help?

  • Not all documents need signature by a doctor, for example passport applications. You can ask another person in a position of trust to sign such documents free of charge.
  • If you have several forms requiring completion, present them all at once and ask your GP if he or she is prepared to complete them all at once as a 'job lot' at a reduced price.
  • 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.