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Certification - Non Chargeable

The following is a list of obligations relating to Certification by GPs:

Statutory Obligations

GPs have a statutory obligation to issue the following certificates to patients without charge:

Table 1: List of Prescribed Medical Certificates For NHS GPs (England And Wales) for Which Fees May Not Be Charged

Description of Medical Certificate

Enactment under, or for the purpose of which certificate required:

To support a claim or to obtain payment either personally or by proxy; to prove incapacity to work or for self-support for the purposes of an award by the Secretary of State; or to enable proxy to draw pensions etc

  • Naval and Marine Pay and Pensions Act 1865[59]
  • Air Force (Constitution) Act 1917[60]
  • Pensions (Navy, Army, Air Force and Mercantile Marine) Act 1939[61]
  • Personal Injuries (Emergency Provisions) Act 1939[62]
  • Pensions (Mercantile Marine) Act 1942[63]
  • Polish Resettlement Act 1947[64]
  • Social Security Administration Act 1992[65]
  • Social Security Contributions and Benefits Act 1992[66]
  • Social Security Act 1998[67]

To establish pregnancy for the purpose of obtaining welfare foods

Section 13 of the Social Security Act 1988 (schemes for distribution etc of welfare foods)[68]

To secure registration of still-birth

Section 11 of the Births and Deaths Registration Act 1953 (special provision as to registration of still-birth) [69]

To enable payment to be made to an institution or other person in case of mental disorder of persons entitled to payment from public funds

Section 142 of the Mental Health Act 1983 (pay, pensions etc of mentally disordered persons)[70]

To establish unfitness for jury service

Juries Act 1974[71]

To support late application for reinstatement in civil employment or notification of non-availability to take up employment owing to sickness

Reserve Forces (Safeguarding of Employment) Act 1985[72]

 To enable a person to be registered as an absent voter on grounds of physical incapacity

Representation of the People Act 1983[73]

To support applications for certificates conferring exemption from charges in respect of drugs, medicines and appliances

National Health Service Act 1977[74]

To support a claim by or on behalf of a severely mentally impaired person for exemption from liability to pay the Council Tax or eligibility for a discount in respect of the amount of Council Tax payable

Local Government Finance Act 1992[75]

Certificates for which GPs May Not Charge Fee


Any individual who is able to give information about a bankrupt may be required to give evidence, for which no charge can be levied. The Court may also require such individuals to produce any documents in their possession or under their control relating to the bankrupt (S366, Insolvency Act, 1986).

Coroners' post-mortem

Although rarely used, the coroner has power under section 19 of the Coroners Act, 1988 to direct that a post-mortem shall be conducted by the deceased's general practitioner.

Death certificates

Including death within 28 days of birth: the registered medical practitioner in attendance during the deceased's last illness must by law provide a certificate of cause of death (S22, Births and Deaths Registration Act, 1953).

Stillbirth certificates

At the request of the 'qualified informant', ie the next of kin, or the person eligible to report the stillbirth to the registrar, a registered medical practitioner present at the birth must give a certificate stating that the child was not born alive and giving, to the best of their knowledge and belief, the cause of death and estimated duration of pregnancy (S11, Births and Deaths Registration Act, 1953).

Notification of infectious diseases

There is no fee for issuing certificates about infectious diseases.

Paternity tests

Services which doctors are not obliged to provide, but when they do, the fee payable is governed by statute: for example, fees for taking samples of blood required in cases of disputed paternity under the Blood Tests (Evidence of Paternity) Regulations.

Professional evidence in court

Under the Supreme Court Act 1981, any registered medical practitioner may be directed to give professional evidence.

In almost all other situations there is no legal, contractual, or professional obligation for the GP to provide a certificate or report. However, he or she may choose to do so as a private service for which they may charge the patient, or third party, that requests the information.  See our Certification - Chargeable page for more information on which reports/certificates are chargeable.

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Updated on Saturday, 2 May 2020 3993 views