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Certification - Chargeable

In 2001 the Government recognised that GPs were spending too much time doing unnecessary paperwork. After much consideration it produced a consultation document called Making A Difference: Reducing General Practitioner Paperwork

However, GPs still receive many requests for reports from government organisations or other third parties.  Remember you do not have a contractual obligation to fill in these reports and they attract a fee. The fee needs to take into account your professional time and expertise along with an administration charge.  Bear in mind there are a considerable number of administrative, financial and legal duties which go along with the professional processing of any request for a report. These are often referred to as collaborative fees/arrangements and we have a dedicated webpage here.

For information on certificates which no charge may be made click here: Certification: Non Chargable

The BMA fee finder guidance can be found here: https://www.bma.org.uk/advice/employment/fees/fee-finder

In addition, we have guidance on the following:

Domestic abuse letters

The BMA believes that there is no need for medical involvement in the process for gaining access to legal aid for domestic abuse victims. We feel that such requests can compromise the relationship between doctor and patient, and that legal aid agencies should take the word of victims without needing to consult a GP – who themselves may not be best placed to confirm whether domestic abuse has occurred. This is a position we continue to make clear through our input into the Government’s ongoing review into bureaucracy in General Practice. 

While these letters are not funded by the NHS contract and practices are able to charge patients a fee for their completion, the BMA recommends that they do not. Ultimately, however, this is at the practice’s discretion.

Private Referrals

You cannot charge for referring a patient privately, however you can refer privately on a standard referral letter.  Some companies have standard forms that you can use, but you don't have to use these.  

If, following an initial referral, you are then asked for further detail by the insurance, or relevant company, you can charge for supplying this.

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Updated on Wednesday, 24 February 2021 5112 views