It is important to understand that many 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 covers these costs for NHS work, but for non-NHS work, the fees charged by GPs contribute towards their costs.
What is covered by the NHS and what is not?
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.
Examples of non-NHS services for which GPs can charge their own NHS patients:
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.
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.
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 (the doctors' regulatory body) or even the Police.
What will I be charged?
We recommend that GPs tell patients in advance if they will be charged, and what the fee will be. It is up to individual doctors to decide how much they will charge, but we produce lists of suggested fees which many doctors use. Surgeries often have lists of fees on the waiting room wall based on these suggested fees.
We need a request in writing of what you require together with any relevant forms or documents. You can hand these in at reception for the attention of Carole Lavery. You can also post these for the attention of the same individual or email requests to firstname.lastname@example.org PLEASE NOTE THIS EMAIL ADDRESS IS ONLY FOR MEDICAL REPORT REQUESTS ONLY AND NOT FOR ANY OTHER MATTERS OR URGENT ENQUIRIES
Please do not book an appointment to see a GP and request these during a consultation as they will not be completed.
If an appointment with a clinician is necessary in order for us to complete your request, we will contact you to arrange this i.e. where a physical medical is required or we need further information.
The following travel vaccinations are free on the NHS:
These vaccines are free because they protect against diseases thought to represent the greatest risk to public health if they were brought into the country.
Private Travel Vaccinations:
You're likely to have to pay for travel vaccinations against meningococcal meningitis, hepatitis B, rabies, tuberculosis, Japanese encephalitis and tick-borne encephalitis, regardless of whether you have the vaccinations at your GP surgery or at a private travel clinic.
Yellow fever vaccines are only available from designated centres. Please note that the Ridgeway Surgery is not an approved Yellow Fever Centre .
What are Ridgeway Surgery charges - click on the link
Run by the nurses for all your travel needs.
Annual checks for all our diabetic patients. During your birthday month you will need an appointment for blood tests then a follow-up appointment 1 week later.
You will then need to attend 6 months later for repeat bloods and diabetic review.
Asthma and Obstructive Airways Disease Clinic
Regular review and advice for children and adults with asthma and other chronic lung diseases.
If you are over 65 or have a chronic disease that affects your heart, lungs or if you are diabetic, you are entitled to a flu jab. 2-4 year-olds are also entitled to a nasal spray-based vaccination. Immunisations begin in late September 2017, so please contact us to make an appointment.
Health checks for patients at risk of or suffering from heart disease and high blood pressure.
(Anticoagulation Clinic for patients on warfarin) Monitoring of patients on warfarin
Childhood vaccinations and monitoring the progress of babies and toddlers.
Health visitors are available at Alexandra Avenue clinic on Thursday afternoons.
Dietary advice for patients with medical or severe weight problems referred by the GPs to our attached dietician.
Brief intervention counselling for patients referred by the GP’s.
As well as unpleasant symptoms, STIs have consequences. Even those without obvious symptoms may cause infertility and other long-term health damage.
According to the Health Protection Agency, more than a third of the 400,000 new cases of STIs reported in the UK in 2008 were in young people aged 16 to 24.
Whether you’re single or in a new relationship, the message is clear: if you’re sexually active, the best way to reduce the likelihood of getting an STI is always to use a condom.
Chlamydia is the most common STI among young people (genital warts is the second most common). It often has no symptoms and, if left untreated, can lead to infertility for both men and women.
You can only be sure you don't have chlamydia by taking a test. Male and female students under the age of 25 can get tested for chlamydia free on the NHS at various places including their GP, a community contraceptive clinic (family planning clinic), a genitourinary medicine (GUM) clinic and some pharmacies.
If the test is positive, chlamydia is easily treated with antibiotics, which are free from the places listed above.
There is also an oral antibiotic available without a prescription from pharmacies to treat chlamydia. The azithromycin pill (Clamelle) is available to over-16s who test positive for the infection and have no symptoms, and for their sexual partners. You will have to pay for this treatment.
To find out more, call the National Chlamydia Screening Programme helpline on 0800 567 123, or go to the National Chlamydia Screening Programme website.
Other common infections
Other common STIs among students include genital warts, genital herpes and gonorrhoea. HIV infection is less common but does happen in young people. In 2009, under-25s made up 11% of all new cases in the UK.
Most of these infections can be prevented by using condoms. Choose ones that carry the British Kitemark or European CE mark, which are recognised quality standards.
"Some people think that if they test negative for chlamydia, they’re OK," says Dr Alyson Elliman, spokesperson for the Faculty of Sexual and Reproductive Healthcare at the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists.
"But be aware that other STIs, such as gonorrhoea, can be symptomless too. Ideally, you should combine safe sex with regular sexual health check-ups, especially in the early stages of a new relationship."
Contraception and contraceptive advice is free for students in the UK. With 15 methods of contraception to choose from, there should be one that’s right for you. If you choose one that fits with your lifestyle, you’ll be more likely to use it properly and it will be more effective.
Long-acting, reversible contraceptives, such as injections, the implant (also called Implanon), IUD (intrauterine device, sometimes known as a coil) and Mirena IUS (intrauterine system, or hormone-releasing coil) could be a good choice for female students, according to Dr Elliman.
"They’re the most effective types of contraception and they work for months or years at a time without you needing to remember to take a pill every day," she says.
If you use a continuous method of contraception for birth control, combine it with using a condom to prevent STIs with new partners. You can get contraception for free from:
Emergency contraception This is contraception you can use to reduce the possibility of pregnancy when you've had unprotected sex or when you think your usual method might not have worked. There are two types of emergency contraception:
The pill needs to be taken as soon as possible after unprotected sex. It works best within the first 24 hours, but it is licensed for use up to 72 hours afterwards and still has an effect for up to 120 hours.
You can get the emergency pill free from the sources of free contraception listed above. In addition, some accident and emergency units provide the emergency contraception pill for free. Women can buy the emergency pill from most pharmacies. It costs around £26.
The IUD may prevent an egg being fertilised or implanted in your uterus. It needs to be inserted by a specially trained doctor or nurse within five days of sex, but could be inserted later depending on your menstrual cycle. If you think you’ve left it too late, it’s still worth discussing the options with a doctor or nurse.
Most community contraceptive clinics and GP surgeries will have at least one doctor or nurse who is able to fit an emergency IUD. It’s a good idea to telephone first to check. You can also use the IUD as an ongoing contraceptive method.
Unplanned pregnancy It’s common to feel shock and panic when facing an unplanned pregnancy. Professionals are on hand to give information and support. The three choices are to keep the baby, have an abortion, or have the baby and have it adopted or fostered.
It can be a difficult and complicated decision and it may help to talk to someone. You can get impartial advice from your GP, a community contraception clinic, Brook advisory centre or other young person’s service.
To get an abortion free on the NHS, you will need to be referred by a doctor. This can be your own GP, or a doctor at a local community contraception clinic, sexual health clinic or Brook advisory centre.
Read more about abortion.
You can book to see nurse at our clinic for the range of services below. The nurses will also give telephone advice, although you may be asked for a contact number for them to phone back if they are busy when you call. Amongst many things done in the treatment room are: Minor operationsThe doctor will help you book sufficient time with both the doctor and the nurse at your initial consultation. DressingsSome patients require dressings for ulcers and wounds. The nurses will be pleased to advise you when it is most appropriate to attend for a change of dressing.
Treatment of minor cuts and wounds; for a deep wound or when an X-ray might be necessary it may be more efficient to go to Mount Vernon Minor Injuries Unit or Northwick Park Accident and Emergency Department. Blood tests, ECGs and Lung Function testsOur healthcare assistant, Pauline, will be happy to take blood test, check your weight, height and blood pressure. She helps the clinical team with other tasks such and performing ECG recordings and lung function tests.
The doctor who organises your test will tell you whether or not you need to fast overnight. Other specimens; please deliver them to the surgery in the mornings as many samples will become spoiled if they are delivered after our hospital collection has been made at lunchtime. Family PlanningWe offer a full range of family planning services including contraception services (pill, cap, coil and injections), advice on safe sex, confidential services for the under 16's, emergency contraception and referral for unwanted pregnancy under the 1967 abortion Act. Cervical ScreeningOn a 3 yearly recall programme. We also recommend that all women over 50 participate in the national mammographic screening programme.
Warfarin monitoringPatients who are taking warfarin and can come regularly to the surgery have the option of having their treatment monitored by the nurses here.
If you require any vaccinations relating to foreign travel you need to make an appointment with the practice nurse to discuss your travel arrangements. This will include which countries and areas within countries that you are visiting to determine what vaccinations are required.
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 4 weeks before you travel to allow the vaccines to work.
Information about countries and vaccinations required can be found on the links below:
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.Travel Health QuestionnaireTo help us offer the appropriate advice, please fill out the online form before coming to see the nurse.Travel Questionnaire
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