Non NHS Private Fees

We are often asked to write letters, complete and sign medical forms or supply medical information to third parties. This work is not covered by the NHS contract and classed as private work. Our GP's complete this in their own time and charge for providing this service. Details of our fees can be found by visiting out Fees For Private Services page. These charges are in line with current BMA fee guidelines.

If you have a request like this, then please hand in any forms/letter at reception. Please do not make an appointment to have this paperwork completed as the doctor will be unable to do so during normal surgery.

Examples of chargeable non-NHS forms/letters:

  • Private medical insurance claims
  • Holiday cancellation claim forms
  • Referral for private care forms
  • Special activities forms, ie Parachute jumps, diving, marathons 
  • Pre-employment forms
  • Medical clearance to work abroad
  • Fostering, adoption or childcare applications
  • University/school exam extenuating circumstances
  • Fitness to fly/Travelling with medication
  • Blue badge application
  • Housing
  • Home Office - registration details
  • Confirmation of medical conditions
  • Court Appearance

These requests are completed at the discretion of the practice. In order to complete or just sign even the simplest of forms the doctor may have to check a patient's entire medical record and accept responsibility for the accuracy of the information provided.

We will inform you of the cost of the service before completion. We hope you will appreciate NHS consultations with unwell patients must take priority over non-NHS work.

Due to NHS service pressures the practice aims to complete any private requests within 60 days of receipt of payment. However, please note there may be a delay when there is a high number of requests or a doctor is absent from the practice.

Our patient advisors can provide you with any further information if required.


Why do GPs sometimes charge fees? Yours questions answered in our FAQ.

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.

Can you give examples of non-NHS services for which GPs can charge their NHS patients:

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

Can you give examples of non-NHS services for which GPs can charge other institutions:

  • medical reports for an insurance company
  • some reports for the DSS/Benefits Agency
  • examinations of local authority employees
  • DS 1500 Form (Disability Living/Attendance Allowance)

Is it true that the BMA sets fees for non-NHS work?

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.

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 – the majority work up to 70 hours a week – and paperwork takes up an increasing amount of their time, so many GPs find they have to take some paperwork home at night and weekends.

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 or even the Police.

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, but the BMA produces lists of suggested fees which many doctors use. Surgeries often have lists of fees on the waiting room wall 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. You should expect the form(s) to take up to 4 weeks for the GP to complete and return