The Government's Contract with GPs covers medical services to NHS patients, including the provision of on-going medical treatment.
In recent years, however, more and more organisations have been involving GPs 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.
Surely the GP is being paid anyway?
Not all GPs are employed by the NHS.
They are self employed and so they have to cover their costs such as staff, premises, heating and lighting etc in the same way as any other small business would have to. The NHS covers these costs for NHS work, but for non-NHS work, the fees charged by GPs contribute towards their costs.
Do GPs have to do non-NHS work for their patients?
With certain limitations, for example a GP confirming that one of their patients is unfit for Jury Service, they are NOT required to do such non-NHS work.
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/letter?
Time spent completing and preparing forms takes GPs away from the medical care of patients. Caring for patients will always be the priority for our GPs. GPs have an ever increasing workload of forms etc which must be prioritised against offering appointments and other urgent administration. We cannot give any guarantees or timescales for when a GP will complete non NHS work as this has to be fitted in and around all their other priorities.
I only need the GPs signature so why is there a delay?
When a GP signs a certificate or completes a form, 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 GP might have to check the patient's entire medical record. Carelessness or an inaccurate report can have serious consequences for the GP with the General Medical Council (the GP's Regulatory Body) or even the Police.
What are the Charges?
We review our charges annually and details of these are available from our Receptions.