NHS England require that the net earnings of doctors engaged in the practice is publicised, and the required disclosure is shown below. However it should be noted that the prescribed method for calculating earnings is potentially misleading because it takes no account of how much time doctors spend working in the practice, and should not be used to form any judgement about GP earnings, nor to make any comparison with any other practice.
All GP Practices are required to declare the mean earnings (e.g. average pay) for GPs working to deliver NHS services to patients at each practice.
The average pay for GPs working in Empingham Medical Centre during the year ended 30th September 2021 was £62,103 before tax and national insurance. This is for 2 full time GPs, 1 part time GP and 3 part time GPs who worked in the practice for more than 6 months.
Why does my doctor charge fees?
When your doctor is asked to give medical information about you in the form of a report, letter or certificate, the request kick starts a series of processes.
This takes time and is not always straightforward or simple to complete. Some of the information is not available easily and will mean the doctor has to sort and select the right information for the request.
The doctor also must establish who is funding this work and if it is not part of their NHS work, agree a fee for this.
Surely the work is paid for by the NHS?
Many patients see their doctor as the embodiment of the NHS and all that it provides – free care at the point of delivery. However not all work doctors are asked to do is paid for by the NHS and many GPs are self-employed.
This means they must cover their time and costs – staff, buildings, heating, lighting, etc – in the same way as any small business. The NHS only pays for NHS work, any work outside of the NHS must be funded by other means and this is why fees are charged.
Why does it take so long?
Your doctor receives large amounts of request and which is often to do with whether your general health allows you to do something e.g. to work, receive benefits, drive, play sport, attend school, own a house, a firearm or it is for insurance, court or other medico-legal reasons.
All requests will vary in complexity, volume and consistency ranging from signing a certificate which can take minutes, to an in-depth report with an examination that can take hours.
What your doctor is signing?
When your 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, they may have to check your entire medical record (some of which may not be accessible on a computer or on site).
Carelessness or an inaccurate report can have serious consequences for the doctor with the General Medical Council (the doctors’ regulatory body) or even the Police.
Why does my doctor seem reluctant or say no to this request?
Your doctor is inundated with work. They have to balance their time with treating the sick, keeping their practice afloat and making sure they are doing all of this safely and within their professional duties as a doctor.
With certain exceptions written within their contract, doctors do not have to carry out non-NHS work. However, many choose to for the benefit of you and other families they treat.
Where a doctor chooses to undertake the work, we advise them to inform and always agree a fee in advance of undertaking work.
Should their volume of work prove to be greater or more complex than expected, the doctor will contact you to discuss how to proceed.
What can I do to help?
- Not all documents need a signature by a doctor and can be done by other professionals. Please check the form and accompanying guidance as you may get a quicker response that way.
- If you have several forms requiring completion, present them all at once and ask your doctor if he or she is prepared to complete them at the same time to speed up the process.
- 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 will cost more.
- Don’t book an appointment with your doctor to complete forms without checking with your doctor’s administrative staff as to whether you need to or not.
Summary Care Records
Summary Care Records (SCR) are an electronic record of important patient information, created from GP medical records. They can be seen and used by authorised staff involved in a patient’s direct care, both within the Practice as well as in other areas of the healthcare system.
Your Summary Care Record
Care professionals in England use an electronic record called the Summary Care Record (SCR). This can provide those involved in your care with faster secure access to key information from your GP record.
The NHS have produced an information leaflet about SCR; this is available using the link below, to either view or download as you wish.
What is an SCR?
If you are registered with a GP Practice in England, you will already have an SCR unless you have previously chosen not to have one.
It includes the following basic information:
- Medicines you are taking
- Allergies you suffer from
- Any bad reactions to medicines
It also includes your name, address, date of birth and unique NHS Number which helps to identify you correctly.
What choices do you have?
You can now choose to include more information in your SCR, such as significant medical history (past and present), information about management of long term conditions, immunisations and patient preferences such as end of life care information, particular care needs and communication preferences.
Your SCR is available to authorised healthcare staff providing your care anywhere in England, but they will ask your permission before they look at it. This means that if you have an accident or become ill, healthcare staff treating you will have immediate access to important information about your health.
This Practice supports SCR however, as a patient you have a choice:
- If you would like an SCR you do not need to do anything and an SCR will be created for you
- If you do NOT want an SCR please complete the online SCR opt out form, or alternatively if you wish you can download the form and hand it in to the Practice
Remember, you can change your mind about your SCR at any time. Talk to our Practice if you want to discuss your option to add more information or decide you no longer want an SCR. If you do nothing we will assume you are happy for us to create a SCR for you.
Vulnerable patients and carers
Having an SCR that includes extra information can be of particular benefit to patients with detailed and complex health problems. If you are a carer for someone and believe that this may benefit them, you could discuss it with them and their GP Practice.
Who can see my SCR?
Only authorised, professional healthcare staff in England who are involved in your direct care can have access to your SCR. Your SCR will not be used for any other purposes.
- Need to have a Smartcard with a chip and passcode
- Will only see the information they need to do their job
- Will have their details recorded every time they look at your record
Healthcare professionals will ask for your permission if they need to look at your SCR. If they cannot ask you because you are unconscious or otherwise unable to communicate, they may decide to look at your record because doing so is in your best interest. This access is recorded and checked to ensure that it is appropriate.
SCRs for children
If you are the parent or guardian of a child under 16, and feel they are able to understand this information you should show it to them. You can then support them to come to a decision about having an SCR and whether to include additional information. You may request to opt them out of SAR; any opt-out requests on behalf of children will be carefully considered.
For information on how the NHS will collect, store and allow access to your electronic records visit NHS UK.