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 nonmedical 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
- Statements of fact relating to general health e.g. for children’s dance classes
- Letters requested by, or on behalf of, the patient
- Holiday cancellation claim forms
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 occupational health
- Requests from solicitors for patient records
The BMA suggests fees for non-NHS work which is not covered under a GP’s NHS contract, to help GPs set their own professional fees. However, these fees are guidelines only, not recommendations, and a doctor is not obliged to charge the rates suggested.
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