Chawton House Surgery

St Thomas Street, Lymington, SO41 9ND

NHS

Telephone: 01590 672953

Fax: 01590 674137

whccg.chawtonhousesurgery@nhs.net

Non-NHS Services

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 to cover some of the cost of treatment, for example, dental fees; in other cases, it is because the service is not covered by the NHS, for example, medical reports for insurance companies.

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. 

 What is covered by the NHS and what is not?

The Government’s contract with GPs covers medical services to NHS patients. 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 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 

Chawton House Non NHS Fees for Non GMS Services   

For an up to date list of our fees, please ask at reception. 

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. 

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?

  • Not all documents need signature by a doctor, for example passport applications. You can ask another person in a position of trust to sign such documents free of charge. 
  • 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 may cost more.  

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Opening Times

  • Monday
    07:30am - 18:30pm
  • Tuesday
    08:00am - 18:30pm
  • Wednesday
    08:00am - 18:30pm
  • Thursday
    07:30am - 18:30pm
  • Friday
    08:00am - 18:30pm
  • Saturday
    08:00am - 11:00am (2nd Saturday of each month, depending on statutory holidays)
  • Sunday
    CLOSED