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Aaron85

GP wants to charge me £30 for a letter

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I got a voicemail from my doctors’ receptionist saying I have a document waiting for me to be collected.

Had no idea what this could have been.

 

Went to the doctors after work, and the receptionist hands me a letter, and says it will be £30 please.

 

I remember that I had a medical form from my bank which I gave to the doctors to fill out back in September.

But I never returned the form to my bank, and the bank just moved on, without ever asking for it back.

 

When I handed in the letter to the doctors, the doctors never mentioned there would be a charge for it.

Plus, it’s been 3 months since I handed the form in.

I have no need for the form now.

Can I just forget about the form and move on?

 

I don’t want to pay for it as I have no need for it.

I should not have to pay for the letter because I was never told there would be a fee, and it’s been 3 months, which is ridiculous.

 

If they keep calling me about the payment, I can easily switch to a different GP. Had been thinking about it anyway.

 

Would they write to my address requesting the payment? How far can this go?

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Hi Aaron, I’m a GP practice manager - quick answer is yes they can and should charge, private work isn’t covered by the NHS and it’s not for the practice to decide whether or not you still need/want that which you’ve requested without your say so. In effect it’s a bit like ordering food in a restaurant, having someone cook it and deciding you no longer want it as the server brings it to the table.

 

There’s some guidance here on why we charge for some things: https://www.bma.org.uk/advice/employment/fees/why-gps-charge-fees

 

In terms of how far they’ll take things? Well, it won’t impact your NHS care but I wouldn’t expect them to engage in any further private work without things being settled. Would I personally chase £30 - yes although I wouldn’t necessarily start a small claim. Chances are it’s been sitting ready for you to collect for some time now and they’re clearing out the documents drawer.


My views are my own and are not representative of any organisation. if you've found my post helpful please click on the star below.

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Hi, Thanks for the quick reply.

 

My gripe with them is that they never informed me of the charge. I genuinlly thought it would be a free service, paid for on the NHS. If they had told me at the time that it would cost me £30, I would have told them to forget it, and informed my bank that I would not be paying for the letter.

 

Considering they never told me the fee, I shouldn't be forced to pay up for it I'd assume.

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Aaron, sorry for the delay in replying. I can’t really speculate on what was / wasn’t said at the time. Nevertheless, many practices have a pricelist up in reception and on their website for these things. Unfortunately the NHS doesn’t cover banking and insurance and someone has taken the time to complete work that you requested quite often we end up doing these things at a time where we’ve supposedly finished for the day or are supposed to be getting something to eat as we don’t let private work impact on our commitment to the NHS and seeing patients. So I can’t really advise you to pay or not, you need to decide that for yourself I’m afraid.


My views are my own and are not representative of any organisation. if you've found my post helpful please click on the star below.

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