The Government’s contract with GPs covers medical services to NHS patients, including the provision of ongoing medical treatment. 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 that 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.
The BMA (British Medical Association) suggest fees for non-NHS work, which is not covered under GP’s NHS contract, to help GPs set their own professional fees. However, the fees are guidelines only, not recommendations, and a doctor is not obliged to charge the rates suggested.
Do GPs have to do non-NHS work for their patients?
With certain limited exceptions, for example, a GP confirming that one of their patients is not fit for jury service, GPs do not have to carry out non-NHS work on behalf of 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 an increasing amount of their time, so many GPs find they must complete this work outside of and in addition to their normal hours.
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.
To complete even the simplest of forms, 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.
How long will it take to process my request?
We aim to complete your request within 28 working days from the date it was received. It is possible that your request may take longer than this due to excessive requests or if NHS work is backlogged.
We are aware that some patients may need non-NHS work completed urgently. We will try our best to complete the work as soon as possible but there is no guarantee that this work can be completed within the timeframe specified.
Finally, please be respectful to the staff at the Practice. We will try to assist you with your request but there are occasions where we receive abuse when advising patients of charges or waiting times. Fern House Surgery adopts a zero-tolerance policy with regards to abuse towards members of staff.