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Findings of Medeconomics fees survey, spring 2013

Our spring survey can tell you the average fee GP practices charge for a medical examination or a sick note, among others. Carole Slingsby reveals the findings.

Most fees are negotiable and it can be tricky to decide what to charge (Image: iStock)
Most fees are negotiable and it can be tricky to decide what to charge (Image: iStock)

Medeconomics' private and professional GP fees survey ran from 8 February to 8 April 2013 and asked respondents to tell us what they charged for 10 commonly requested non-NHS services.  

There were 595 respondents - a mix of GPs, practice managers and other practice team members - of whom the majority (69%) were GP principals.

It was the second UK-wide Medeconomics.co.uk fees survey: our first survey took place in summer 2012.

Survey goals

The aim, as with the 2012 survey was to find out how much, on average, GP practices charge given that statutory and nationally agreed rates for the various private and professional services are few and far between.

Most fees are now negotiable and, in the absence of any information at all on fee levels, it can be tricky to decide how much to charge.

We also wanted to know if, on average, practices’ income from non-NHS sources was up or down because this is an increasingly important contributor to practice profits given the squeeze on NHS funding.

Below are the average amounts practices charged for the 10 fees surveyed this year.

There are UK averages as well as averages for England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

The rates we asked about in last summer's survey  included adoption and fostering health assessments; solicitor's reports; private consultations; PCV/LGV driver examinations; Blue Badge Scheme reports; power of attorney examinations and shotgun licence fitness reports.

Income up or down?

As to whether practices are earning more or less from non-NHS work overall, the survey reveals a downward trend.

Only 6% of respondents told us their private and professional fees income had increased over the previous 12 months. Meanwhile, 43% said it had decreased.

For 34%, it was about the same and 18% said that they did not know.

This was a broadly similar response to the answers to the same question last summer.

Deciding your rates

When deciding your own practice’s fees for services for which the rate is negotiable (or BMA-suggested)  how much to charge is up to you.

Of course it will also depend on what the patient or third party requesting the service can or will pay. Or, indeed, if you make a charge at all. This article provides advice on setting your own fees.

Each survey fee average in the table excludes respondents from  ipractices that do not charge for the service concerned.

It is also worth noting that the number of respondents from England was much larger than the combined total of respondents from Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

  • For advice on how to make the most of our fees A-Z click here.
Medeconomics survey 2013 fees averages

Non-NHS service provided

UK average

England average

Scotland average

Wales average

Northern Ireland average

Abortion (2nd) confirmatory certificate

 £28

  £27

 £55 

  £15

  £24

Cervical smear test

 £46

 £45

 £62

 £30

 £63

Character reference

£26

 £25

 £31

 £28

 £16

Diagnostic test

£34

 £33

 £34

 £29

N/A

Extract from patient's record

£35

 £35

 £34

 £31

 £34

HIV testing at insurer's request (counselling & blood test)

£47

 £47

 £50

 £36

 £37

Holiday/travel insurance: verification of cancellation claim (simple certificate)

 £23

 £23 

 £24 

 £21

 £18

Immunisation course for overseas travel

 £45

 £45

 £42

 £45

 £39

Medical examination

 £ 92

  £92

 £96

 £91

 £88

Sick note: straightforward certificate

 £14

  £14

 £14

 £12

 £11

Survey: 8 February to 8 April 2013. Respondents: 595

 


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