Non-NHS Services – Chargeable

Services which are outwith the NHS Contract

The National Health Service provides most healthcare to the majority of people free of charge, but there are exceptions. GPs are self-employed and are contracted to provide NHS general medical services for their patients.

Sometimes, GPs are asked to provide additional services which fall outside their contract and in these circumstances, they are entitled to make a reasonable charge for providing them.

In certain instances, we reserve the right to decline such requests. Additionally, if your General Practitioner (GP) has not recently evaluated your situation related to the request, scheduling a routine appointment (available in a week’s time) will be necessary.

Please note that we have currently received a high volume on non-nhs requests and there will be a delay in processing. Thank you for your understanding.

Non-NHS Service (Letters, Claim Forms, Insurance Medicals, Reports etc)

If you request work that is not provided for under the terms of the NHS Primary Care Services contract (letters, claim forms, insurance medicals, reports etc), this request will be treated as a private service and will incur a charge for completion of your request and on some occasions we may refuse to action the request.

Our priority is NHS work.

Please see below a detailed guide and kindly complete the form at the end and submit your request.

We will only process requests after we receive proof of payment.  If we are not be able to process your request we will inform you and refund you.

The timeframe for completion of the Non-NHS work begins once we receive proof of payment and it is also subject to availability of the doctors.

Claim Forms

There is a charge for the completion of all non-NHS claim forms (ie BUPA, PPP, travel fitness etc). Please allow up to 15-20 working days (upon receipt of payment) for the completion of any letter, report or forms upon receipt of proof of payment. Should this not be possible, for example due to GP Holidays or requests for a larger than normal piece of work, our staff will inform you. 

Insurance Medicals

All non-NHS medical examinations are conducted outside NHS surgery hours. Please contact our Admin Team from 09:00-17:00 at 020 8340 6628 to arrange an appointment which will be at a time suggested by the Doctor concerned.

We do not provide any documentation for the below services:

  • Visa Applications
  • Participation to Extreme Sports
  • Blood Type

Payable Services

Please see below  Non-NHS work charges. Fees may vary if the requirements of the work undertaken differ to that expected at the point of submission of the below form. We accept bank transfer and payment is required in advance.

BACS Information

Account Name: Highgate Group Practice
Account No: 80471879
Sort Code: 20 36 16

Please see below charges and complete the below form to submit your request.

Non NHS Service (fees may vary)Fee
Reports for Insurance Companies£80
Letters “To whom it may concern”£20
Letters for Fitness, Holiday/Gym Cancellation etc£20
Insurance Claim form (Up to 5 questions)£30
Holiday cancellation form/Treatment Form etc£30
Medical Certificates£30
Medical Examinations (London Taxi/Fostering etc)£90
General Practitioner’s Report£104
Child Medicals for Camp Trips/fitness confirmation etc£50

Our Practice procedure for processing private referrals is different to NHS referrals.

We hope that these guidelines help to avoid misunderstandings.

A private referral letter will be required by consultants and your insurance company, the turnaround time for these letters is five working days after seeing your GP. The only exception is if your doctor considers the problem medically urgent, which will be made clear to you at your consultation.

Your Doctor will only complete a private insurance claim form if you have been referred by your GP before you see a consultant.

If the appointment with a private consultant has already been made please make clear to the Consultant and your insurance company that the referral letter will take five days from the date of contact with the GP. The five day turnaround is to ensure that all GP’s work is prioritised according to clinical need.

In the event of seeing a private consultant before the referral letter is ready for collection please ensure that the letter is collected and forwarded to the consultant. The admin team will only email a letter if specifically asked to do so by the GP.

There is no charge for any referral letter but a fee is payable if you wish your GP to complete any private health insurance claim form.

NCL ICB Medicines Management – local policy for private prescriptions

If a patient wishes to be referred privately, outside of the normal Commissioning arrangements then the patient should be aware that all costs resulting from private consultations are payable by the patient. This includes prescribing costs. Please do not ask GPs to transfer medications issued on private prescriptions to NHS prescriptions.

In the event that a long-term condition following a private consultation is discovered, your GP may be willing to prescribe for your condition but they may wish to substitute the prescribed medication with a therapy they are more familiar with or in accordance with local prescribing policies to enable safer management of your condition.

GPs will be reminding patients during their consultations of this local prescribing policy following requests to be referred for private consultations. An explanatory leaflet is available from reception and is also displayed on our notice board in the entrance hall.

Please remember all prescriptions take 48 hours (two working days) to process. Urgent requests for prescriptions must be made in person at the surgery. Request forms will be handed to Doctors at the end of their surgery, they will not be issued immediately. You will need to return to collect the prescription when advised by our Patient Services team.

Your questions answered

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.

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 to do non-medical work 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
  • Referral for private care 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

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 can I do to help?

  • If you have several forms requiring completion, present them all at once.
  • Do not expect your GP to process forms overnight

Examples of Non-NHS Services include the following: 

  • Medicals for pre-employment, sports and driving requirements (HGV, PSV etc.) 
  • Insurance Claim Forms 
  • Prescriptions for taking medication abroad 
  • Private Sick Notes 
  • Vaccination Certificates 

The fees charged are based on the British Medical Association (BMA) suggested scales and Practice Reception Staff will be happy to advise you about them along with appointment availability. 

The fees charged are based on the British Medical Association (BMA) suggested scales and Practice Reception Staff will be happy to advise you about them along with appointment availability.