REQUEST FOR A NON-NHS PRIVATE LETTERS FROM THE GP
If you make a request for a letter, this is not provided for under the terms of the NHS Primary Care Services contract. Your GP may be happy to undertake such work for you, but, as this is a private
service, you will incur a charge for completion of your request.
Please complete the below form with details of your request, please note the minimum charge for the
work is £30 but may cost more dependant on the requested work. Our staff will contact
you before the work commences to arrange payment for this service and gain your consent to continue.
Our staff will contact you if your GP is unable to do the work requested.
If you wish to proceed, we will usually commit to complete the work that you have requested within 4 working weeks from the date of submission. Should this not be possible, for example due to GP
holidays or requests for a larger than normal piece of work, our staff will contact you.
When the work is completed, you will be contacted.
Private letter Request form for private letters
WHY DO GPs SOMETIMES CHARGE FEES? 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 because the service is not covered by the NHS,
for example, providing copies of health records or producing medical reports for insurance companies.
SURELY THE DOCTOR IS BEING PAID ANYWAY?
GPs are not employed by the NHS; they are self-employed and have to cover their costs – staff,
buildings, heating etc. – in the same way as any small business. The NHS covers these costs for NHS
work, but not for non-NHS work.
WHAT IS COVERED BY THE NHS AND WHAT IS NOT?
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 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.
WHY DOES IT SOMETIMES TAKE MY GP A LONG TIME TO COMPLETE MY FORM?
A GP’s NHS work must take priority. 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. 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.
PAYMENT OF FEES
In the past we have completed reports and forms before payment has been made, but have sadly
found there to be too many occasions when the doctor has given up the time to do the work, but the
fee has not been paid. Therefore, the fee must be paid in advance at the time the request for the letter
or form to be completed is made or when the appointment for a medical is booked. Due to
administrative time taken to complete the letters/medicals, fees are non-refundable.
WHAT CAN I DO TO HELP?
Not all documents need signature by a doctor. For example, you could ask another person in a position
of trust, who may be willing to sign a passport application free of charge. (Teacher, Accountant, etc.)
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.