We're delighted to report that the waiting time for a GP appointment, with one of our permanent GPs, is LESS THAN 2 weeks.
In addition we can offer appointments wit our Advanced Nurse Practitioner within 1 week, and on-the-day appointments with our Nurse Practitioners, for any urgent concerns or minor illnesses!
Our GPs are increasingly being asked to complete reports and letters, and we wanted to take this opportunity to give some background and explain why we ask for 5 working days for such paperwork to be completed. Thank you for your cooperation.
Time spent completing forms and preparing reports takes the GP away from the medical care of his/her patients. Most GPs have a very heavy workload – Our GPs work to 60 hours per week and paperwork takes up an increasing amount of their time. In addition non-NHS work must be undertaken outside of NHS contracted time.
The National Health Service provides most health care to most people free of charge, but there are exceptions. 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 isn’t covered by the NHS, for example, medical reports of insurance companies, claims on private health insurance and other letters and forms which require the doctor to review the patient’s medical records.
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 pays the doctor for specific NHS work but for non NHS work the fee has to cover the doctor’s costs. Our fees are calculated based on our GPs Private hourly rate.
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 patients
Certain travel vaccinations
Examples of non-NHS services for which GPs can charge other institutions are
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. Therefore in order to complete even the simplest of forms, the doctor may need to check the patient’s entire record. Carelessness or an inaccurate report can have serious consequences for the doctor, with the General Medical Council or even the Police.
The Government’s contract with GPs covers medical services to NHS patients, including the provision of ongoing medical treatment.
In recent years, however, 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 ensure that information provided to them is true and accurate.
With certain limited exceptions, for example a GP confirming that one of their patients is not fit for jury service, GPs do not have to carry out non-NHS work on behalf of their patients.
Whilst GPs will always attempt to assist their patients with the completion of forms, for example for insurance purposes, they are not required to do such non-NHS work.
The BMA suggests fees for non-NHS work which is not covered under a GP's NHS contract, to help GPs set their own professional fees. However, these fees are guidelines only, not recommendations, and a doctor is not obliged to charge the rates suggested.
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, so many GPs find they have to take some paperwork home at night and weekends.
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.
Please be aware that the GP's DO NOT sign Passport Applications
We are able to carry out some minor surgical procedures, such as joint injections and removal of some skin lesions, in surgery rather than wait for a hospital appointment. Please enquire at Reception if you think this might of benefit to you.
Advice on all types of contraception can be obtained from the surgery. Please arrange an appointment with a Practice Nurse, or our Advanced Nurse Practitioner who is trained to fit could and Implants
We also hold a contraception 'no worries clinic', aimed young people - Just call and ask for a 'No Worries' appointment for advice, emergency contraception and condoms. All consultations are completely confidential.
We encourage all women up to the age of 65 to have regular cervical smear tests. You will receive an invitation for this in accordance with NHS guidelines. However, if you are concerned about any symptoms at other times, please make an appointment with the practice nurse.
Community midwives from Chippenham and Great Western Hospital, hold clinics at the surgery.
Dr Fudge runs regular clinics on Tuesdays for your baby check and Immunisations. You will be sent an appointment when the immunisation/check is due.
All our GPs and health visitors feel childhood immunisations are extremely important. The benefits far outweigh any slight risks involved. The health visitor will give you comprehensive advice prior to your child's appointment, but please discuss any concerns by ringing your health visitor on (01793) 854202.
It is advisable for adults to have a tetanus booster. Please consult the practice nurses.
The practice nurses monitor patients with asthma,COPD diabetes, dietary problems, heart disease, hypothyroidism, hypertension, and symptoms of menopause, to name but a few!
They also manage our flu vaccination campaign from October to December each year. Flu jabs are essential for patients of any age who suffer from diabetes, asthma, chronic bronchitis, heart disease and kidney disease, and for those aged 65 and over.
If you are not sure whether you should have one, please ask one of the nurses for advice.
We are not able to provide travel or other vaccinations for occupational use. Please contact private providers if this is required.
**Boots Royal Wootton Bassett
**Chippenham Travel Clinic – Hathaway Medical Centre, Chippenham SN14 6GT Tel No: 0330 100 4157 (Private – you will pay for the consultation and all vaccines). They stock malaria tablets and vaccines
**Or Nomad clinics in Bath/Bristol
Please see our travel advice leaflet
Tinkers Lane Travel Leaflet
Many immunisations are available through the NHS, but some are not and have to be paid for by the patient, and please note we only accept cash or cheques.
There is further information about countries and vaccinations required on the links below
It is important to make this initial appointment as early as possible - at least 6 weeks before you travel - as a second appointment will be required with the practice nurse to actually receive the vaccinations. These vaccines have to be ordered as they are not a stock vaccine. Your second appointment needs to be at least 2 weeks before you travel to allow the vaccines to work.
Some travel vaccines are ordered on a private prescription and these incur a charge over and above the normal prescription charge. This is because not all travel vaccinations are included in the services provided by the NHS.
Travelling in Europe
If you are travelling to Europe a very useful booklet has been published with advice and guidance to help you get the most out of your holiday. To visit please click:- http://ec.europa.eu/publications/booklets/eu_glance/86/en.pdf (this is a large document and may take a minute or two to view)
You do not require a doctor's sickness certificate for any illness lasting seven days or less. Your employer may however require you to complete a self-certification form (SC2) which is available from your employer or on the HMRC website.
If you are sick for more than seven days, your employer can ask you to give them some form of medical evidence to support payment of SSP (statutory sick pay).
It is up to your employer to decide whether you are incapable of work. A medical certificate, now called a 'Statement of Fitness for Work’ (see below) from your doctor is strong evidence that you are sick and would normally be accepted, unless there is evidence to prove otherwise.
You could also provide evidence from someone who is not a medical practitioner, e.g. a dentist. Your employer will decide whether or not this evidence is acceptable. If your employer has any doubts, they may still ask for a medical certificate from your GP.
The 'fit note' was introduced on 6 April 2010. With your employer's support, the note will help you return to work sooner by providing more information about the effects of your illness or injury.
For more information see the DirectGov website (where this information was sourced)
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