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to be annoyed at GP practice for charging £20

(109 Posts)
Booper13 Tue 17-May-11 20:24:07

I'm 30 weeks pregnant and am taking a flight on Thursday. The airline require a confirmation from GP or midwife that I am medically fit to fly. I phoned GP surgery to ask about this and was told to come in and see GP. I did this and without examining me or doing any BP check or anything GP said he would dictate a letter and I could collect it today. When I went today I was told it would be £20. I was not advised either when I phoned or saw the GP that there would be a charge for this, so was quite surprised. Is this normal practice? Obviously I don't want bad relations with the surgery but I just wondered if this has happened to others.

Sidge Tue 17-May-11 20:25:54

They usually charge for letters like this as it's an additional service but they should have made it clear to you that there would be a charge.

HazeltheMcWitch Tue 17-May-11 20:26:29


It is absolutely normal practice to charge for this. Why should an alredy-strapped NHS subsidise your holiday costs?

EvenLessNarkyPuffin Tue 17-May-11 20:26:31

So you want the NHS to pay for the time it takes the doctor and clerical staff to produce a letter so you can go on holiday?

HazeltheMcWitch Tue 17-May-11 20:26:49

oops. ALREADY !

JeremyKylesPetProject Tue 17-May-11 20:27:30

Oh yes. Anything thats not medical related (that takes up appointment space). I had to pay to get my GP to sign me fit to do Lighterlife many years ago.

FakePlasticTrees Tue 17-May-11 20:28:43

Well, I think it's reasonable to charge for these. However, It's a bit shocking your GP is happy to write a letter stating you are fit to fly without bothering to check you actually are fit to fly.

midoriway Tue 17-May-11 20:28:59

Anything that hasn't got to do specifically with your treatment, your GP will charge for. This includes letters to airlines, reports for private health insurance, letters for court, health checks required for visas, signing off passport photos etc. They can't charge it to the NHS, so they will charge it to you. £20 is cheap, my GP charges £35 upwards for these types of things. A report for DH occupational health assessment cost DH employers £200. However, you should have been told, it is a shock if you are not prepared for it.

UrsulaBuffay Tue 17-May-11 20:29:44

Why should the tax paying public pay extra so that people can get these letters/passports signed/signatures certified to send to their bank etc etc?

The NHS can barely afford lifesaving equipment & skills.

You can afford a holiday abroad=you can afford £20. Suck it up.

Oakmaiden Tue 17-May-11 20:31:33

FPT - if OP is 30 weeks pregnant then presumably she is having regular midwife appointments where her bp etc will be checked. If no concerns have arisen from those then I think it is reasonable that the GP will certify her fit without repeating the examination.

onceamai Tue 17-May-11 20:36:10

I recall being charged 30.00 for the GP to sign the holiday insurance form when DD was in traction and we had to cancel our annual holiday - I also remember being told to phone to make sure it had been signed before I collected it. I said that for 30.00 for 10 seconds they could call me when it was signed and if the Dr passed our house on the way home (she did) she could drop it off or at least put a stamp on it so I wasn't inconvenienced further grin.

McDreamy Tue 17-May-11 20:37:30

once did they call you/post it/drop it through your letterbox? I woould amazed if they did!

UrsulaBuffay Tue 17-May-11 20:39:00

And the people who couldn't get an appointment while the Dr fannied about signing that? They weren't inconvenienced?

intertoyz Tue 17-May-11 20:41:18

I get charged by the GP for sick notes for my dc when they need them. I think it's a bit rich since it's a state school, and the state requires me to send them to school. And the state school requires me to produce a sick note after a certain period of sickness. For which I have to pay.

onceamai Tue 17-May-11 20:45:34

McDreamy - Yep - but I did remind her the dd was in the local private hospital, and we had saved the NHS a fortune over the years and none of us had visited the doctor in the previous three years. Recently when they cocked up over a referral for dd they were most apologetic and I had the doctor on the phone twice in one day. I am indomitable though - nearly 50 and practicing for when I'm 60!

SuchProspects Tue 17-May-11 20:49:39

It is standard practice to charge for services not covered by the NHS. And writing letters for all and sundry about your state of health is not a service covered by the NHS. But YANBU to be surprised by the charge - you should have been told when you first called to ask.

As to not examining you - be glad - your GP could have written the letter based on your notes, if he had had to examine you the charge would have been more!

floweryblue Tue 17-May-11 21:01:34

I had to cancel a holiday when my grandad was dying. When I submitted the claim to the insurance company I expected our GP to charge me for the part of my claim that she filled in, there was a tariff on the wall at reception indicating chargeable services and rates. No idea if the insurance paid for her time but I was never asked for any money.

midoriway Tue 17-May-11 22:01:30

I'll tell you what is cheeky though. My GP will not let you make requests for these things without you booking an appointment, so not only does he get the cash for writing the letter, I presume he charges the NHS the appointment time.

messymammy Tue 17-May-11 22:03:23

try €60 and get back to me!

Sassybeast Tue 17-May-11 22:06:28


canyou Tue 17-May-11 22:10:03

I am with Messymammy [who I guess is also in Irl]

parakeet Tue 17-May-11 22:14:42

Midoriway - GPs do not charge the NHS per appointment.

magicmelons Tue 17-May-11 22:25:31

yabu, not NHS work, Why should the NHS fund your holioday plans.

NulliusInVerba Tue 17-May-11 22:39:56

To be fair I dont think OP was asking if the charge was unreasonable.....

I personally think the charge is reasonable. Its not part of the NHS to give you permission to fly. But I agree with you they should have let you know, and not assumed you knew that there would be a charge.

If you want to go on holiday though, 20 quid isnt that much is it.

midoriway Tue 17-May-11 22:55:46

Canyou- Do they not? I thought they invoiced the NHS per 15 mins per patient seen, or some such. The more people through the door, the more the GP invoices the NHS. If this is not the case, I withdraw my libelous comment immediatly. No that my GP would probably care, he has already been up in front of the GMC for creative accounting.

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