View Full Version : Paying of a sick note


Jerricho
23rd Jan 2004, 16:11
I heard somewhere on the grape vine that some doctors in the U.K. charge anything up tp £30 for a sick note/medical certificate? True or false?

Thanks.



parris50
25th Jan 2004, 01:33
True. I had to pay my GP £7.50 for a sick note. I felt a bit ripped off as it took him about 5 seconds and the cheque was to him personally rather than to the surgery.:suspect:

brockenspectre
25th Jan 2004, 01:47
Fortunately, for many years I haven't been ill enough to warrant a sick note(s) but I have never heard of anyone having to pay for one. Last year, when I was mildly concussed and had to see GP (after tests at hospital) I got a "note" without any question of payment - I would be astonished to be asked to pay ...in fact I would probably raise the issue with the local health authority! That is, of course, if you are seeing the GP as an NHS patient and not a private one... rules for private GPs are way different I understand. :ok:

EH8
25th Jan 2004, 02:23
At my surgery (NHS) if you require a ‘sick note’ within 7 days of your first days absence from work, you are required to pay £5. However after the statutory 7 day period the note cost’s nothing. I was under the impression you are allowed the first 7 days as self-certification, thereafter a certified doctors note is required.

I would imagine Brockenspectre is right in saying the situation would be different if you were to attend the surgery as a non NHS patient.

Jerricho
25th Jan 2004, 03:01
Thanks guys.

My wife came home and mentioned somebody she worked with had to pay for one. I couldn't believe it. I just chalked it up to how crap the NHS really is.

Paul Wilson
25th Jan 2004, 03:24
Yep EH8 is right, and that should be the general rule. The reason being that for abscences of up to 7 calender days you are legally allowed to self certificate. Now your company may require you to see their nurse/doctor on return but they are not allowed to request a sick note. If your actions are suspicious i.e. lots of 7 days off sick then, as if by a miracle, better on day 8, they can ask for future abscences to be supported by a sick note, which most would pay for.

The reason GP's charge for sick notes for less than 7 days, is that basically nothing much is wrong you, you have a bad cold or flu, but nothing to see a doctor about. You (or your employer)are therefore wasting NHS money, and the doctors time, so you get to pay for it.

In response to parris50 most GP surgeries are partnerships anyway, so it doesn't make a lot of difference who you make the cheque out to. Mind you I bet a few cheques made out to Dr.soandso escape the taxmans clutches

Polly Gnome
25th Jan 2004, 07:42
I've only ever asked for one before the '7 days' were up to present to the university because I missed an exam due to illness. It was free, as were the others.

gingernut
26th Jan 2004, 18:06
You think that's bad, should see how much the airlines charge me for extra leg room, or seats together.

To be serious, the charges reflect the way GP's are paid. (They are not contracted to provide sick notes). The system is a little a archaic, and soon the system will focus on "patient quality" issues, rather than "ticking the correct box."

Some GP's will issue sick notes for free, at the moment you have some degree of choice over who your GP is, vote with your feet, and tell your GP why.

Flyin'Dutch'
26th Jan 2004, 22:36
Quick reality check:

As part of our terms and conditions of service we as NHS GPs are required to provide, those who are incapable to work, with sick notes for Statutory Sickness Benefits.

These can be meds 3, 4 or 5.

That is what we get paid for by the NHS. The bumpf which comes with these specifically states that we do not require to give these forms out for periods of less than 7 days or for the first 7 days of longer periods of illness.

The reason that this is regulated like this is that GPs are independent contractors to the NHS and their contracts specify those items the NHS deems it worthwhile to pay us for so that they get done.

We are happy to do those things which we have agreed to do for the NHS.

However extra things cost extra money, and sicknotes for other purposes than SSP; notes within 7 days, letters saying that you need a new house because you can not get on with your neighbours etc etc are not part of the NHS contract.

Now I don't know of many people that do extra work for no extra pay and if you think about it I think you would be slightly miffed to have to come and clean your employer's house, just because you happen to be on his company's pay roll and it is 'just something you can do in a jiffy'

Not only do we like to have a bit of a life outside the day job but there are some other issues at stake.

How about patient empowerment?

Do you really think that a kiddie needs a sicknote if they have to be off school for a few days as they have a bug? Or can a parent give such a note?

Do kids that want to partake in the panto over Christmas need a note to say that they are 'fit' for this?

If you need to miss an exam at uni because you are not well, would it not be kinda nice that they take your adulthood serious and believe you?

And would you be really happy to have to wait a few days because I am seeing all these people for their sicknotes/letters/certificates and you get more and more ill with your pneumonia?

My wife came home and mentioned somebody she worked with had to pay for one. I couldn't believe it. I just chalked it up to how crap the NHS really is.

This society has the NHS it has allowed to evolve into.

FD (feeling better already!)

Mr_Grubby
27th Jan 2004, 03:11
Jerricho.

So an Aussie living in the UK and about to go and work in Canada has the cheek to mouth off about the NHS.
Sooner you leave the better.

Mr G.

corsair
27th Jan 2004, 03:53
I don't see why you shouldn't have to pay for a sick note. Particularly if you actually get to see the Doctor. Usually by the time you see the Doc the cold or hangover (whatever) :yuk: is gone and you are simply cluttering up the waiting room.

I know of one or two places where sick notes are pre signed by the Doctor and handed out by the receptionist on provision of the usual fee.

Jerricho
27th Jan 2004, 05:10
Mr_Grubby,

It's because of the sort of you sound like that I have decided to leave the UK.

Been here 6 years in full employment (not many part time ATC's are there?). Being taxed in the highest tax bracket. I think I am well within my rights to have an opinion on a health system I have contributed to and used (and been disapointed in on several occasions). As FD points out, it is a system that has allowed itself to evolve into. Every heard of a 24 hour Medical centre...........no that's what A&E in a hospital is for isn't it, they've got loads of resources haven't they. Tried to register with a doctor or dentist when your new to an area.............. good luck.

I'll bet you don't have to schedule a prostate examination too soon...........you're doing it with your head quite well by the looks. Sooner I leave the better? Amen to that.

(Apologies to all others.............I didn't realise such a simple question would come to this! :yuk: )

EnglishmaninNY
27th Jan 2004, 07:23
I miss the NHS!!

I pay $140 every two weeks for family medical insurance (about $90), and believe it or not that's not too bad :ugh: That doesn't include dental either, and at $1,500 for a root canal, one can become rather poor rather quick!!

I like living in the US, but that is one thing I really miss about Blighty ;)

gingernut
27th Jan 2004, 18:06
WOW - a bit of excitement on the medical and health forum at last ! Nearly as much fun as "jet blast". Can we have more of the same please ?

Yes , there are lots of area's for improvement in the NHS, and like any large system, it can be sluggish, and slow to adopt change. However, having worked in the "system" for many years, I can say that, with hand on heart, the majority of people who work in the system, are genuinely dedicated to providing high quality care to their patient's and families.

I suspect that the reason for the excitement in this post is that nhs workers, on the whole, are passionate about maintaining and improving the system for their patients.

Without getting too involved in the mud-slinging, I would hope that perhaps a little constructive criticism and objectivity may be more useful than blanket statements. Tell us exactly what you think is crap, tell us what you think is good, and we will try our hardest to improve things.

Jerricho
27th Jan 2004, 19:23
Major thread drift here, but hey that's what's great about this place.

I do apologise to everybody else for the ouburst above (except for Mr_Grubby....such a big man on the internet!). My comment about how crap the NHS is was flippant, however IMHO is can be the target of some major citicism. It wasn't a cheap shot at those professionals who work it.

The "evolution" of the sytem into what it serves as now is not very promising. And I realise a huge premise to improving it is both money and staff. Yet the government is prepared to inject God know's how much into a bid for the Olympics. *scratches head*

Concepts like 24 hour medical centres that are not associated with hospital A&E's are nothing new. And from personal experience, pray you don't move house on a Friday and require a doctor on Saturday afternoon. I had this situation only a few weeks ago. Contacted NHS direct to obtain a doctor for my wife.........they sent TWO Ambulance vehicles! On arrival they mooted taking her to A&E. Saturday night in an A&E for a throat infection..............don't think so. The Ambos suggested contact NHS Direct again and obtain a house call. Call 'em up, guess what. As we hadn't registered with a new doctor in the area (we hadn't even been here 24 hours), and were still registered with our old doctor (who understandably wouldn't travel 40 miles), we couldn't get a doctor out. We tried everything. No luck. The NHS Direct supervisor was adament, and kept saying "This is why you need to register as soon as you move". Their suggestion........take her to A&E!!! Great system.

And I'll only brush over the day surgery appointment to get a suspicious "spot".......and the notification of the appointment arrived 2 weeks after the date of the appointment (true story!!!)

So, you'll have to forgive me if I seem a little cynical regarding the system. And getting back to the origin of the thread, I didn't know about 7 days self certification before the requirement for a sick note. And if doctors are issuing and charging inside the 7 days, I fail to see the logic.

Flyin'Dutch'
27th Jan 2004, 22:02
Not sure what to make of this latest post by you Jerricho.

NHS Direct will not dispatch an ambulance unless it is clear from the story that life and limb may be at risk.

How that tallies with a sore throat I am not sure.

House calls are not done for sore throats either. They are for the bed bound and terminally ill. So I suspect that the reason you did not get a house call had more to do with the medical condition than the fact that you were not registered.

For people that are not registered with a GP either because they have not had time/opportunity/could not be bothered or are visiting an area, there are perfectly well known ways of registering these people for temporary services or just be seen as 'immedicately necessary'

So, you'll have to forgive me if I seem a little cynical regarding the system. And getting back to the origin of the thread, I didn't know about 7 days self certification before the requirement for a sick note. And if doctors are issuing and charging inside the 7 days, I fail to see the logic.

What bit do you not understand?

FD

Jerricho
28th Jan 2004, 08:20
FD tell you what, I'll explain it in simple sentences so you understand.

QUOTE:
"House calls are not done for sore throats either. They are for the bed bound and terminally ill. So I suspect that the reason you did not get a house call had more to do with the medical condition than the fact that you were not registered."

So, the fact NHS Direct DID send out TWO ambulance vehicles is totally lost on you. They obviously thought somthing was requiring their attention. We will send ambos, but you aint gonna get a house call..............you do the math!!

And, If you'll calm down a bit, the next bit makes total sense.

No sick note required for self certification for 7 days. Responses here give indication of charging for sick note for less than 7 days.............old mate turns up and says "I want a sick note". Doctor says "It's less than seven days, don't waste my time!" OR "Sure, here's a sick note and it will cost you £10". Once again, you do the math. And I realise there are ways of being see to as a temp patient............NHS Direct were having none of it. Calls recorded for staff training...........pull that tapes on that one sunshine.

I think it's pretty obvious. Or are you just trying to be obtuse?

Flyin'Dutch'
28th Jan 2004, 17:30
Ambulances and housecalls are inappropriate for sore throats.

So am not sure why these were organised and advised, unless there is more to this story than meets the eye.

Sicknotes other than for the purpose of claiming SSP for periods of sickness lasting more than 7 days are not part of the NHS contract which GPs have with the NHS.

They are therefore private work. As such GPs can choose not to do them or do them and charge accordingly.

Dunno who is getting obtuse here, but it ain't me.

FD

Jerricho
28th Jan 2004, 17:58
So am not sure why these were organised and advised, unless there is more to this story than meets the eye.

That's right, you're not sure cause YOU WEREN'T THERE! There is nothing more than meets the eye. Your passing your opinion on something you have not the slightest involvement in. So thank you for your input on that one...........

Sicknotes other than for the purpose of claiming SSP for periods of sickness lasting more than 7 days are not part of the NHS contract which GPs have with the NHS.

Exactly. Hence if they are not required for less than seven days, why issue them? And charge for them? This gets back to the basis of my question, which some have answered quite helpfully, and others have started a crusade to defend the motives of those that issue and charge for something that isn't required. Simple really.

(Now I'm being obtuse :E )

Flyin'Dutch'
28th Jan 2004, 22:09
Jerricho,

I have no intention to entertain a bit of an internet scrap with you on these shores.

I have tried to explain how things work.

FD

strafer
28th Jan 2004, 22:20
Bloody whingin' Aussies.

Jerricho
28th Jan 2004, 22:25
Fair enough FD.

I really didn't think my simple little question would come to this.

(Strafer........why don't you go play in the traffic?! :p )

Paul Wilson
28th Jan 2004, 23:24
Jerricho,

The reason that doctors will issue sicknotes for illnesses under 7 days in length is that some employers will (illegally) ask for them before paying sick pay.

Now the Doctor is not being paid by the Govt. for issuing them, and indeed the paitient would probably not be in the surgery at all if they did not require them. So some doctors take the view that the charge should represent the cost of a GP appointment, and some just the extra work of a sicknote.

Now you as a patient faced with having to get a sicknote from your GP in order for your employer to pay you sick pay have a choice.

1. Pay up your £10 get your note, give to employer, get your sick pay.

or

2. Do not get a sicknote from your GP, then argue the case with your employer, and if that fails(probably will if they don't accept self-certification) take them to court to recover sick pay. In the meantime of course you've probably lost your job, and can then take them to an industrial tribunal for unfair dismissal.

Bottom line is that GP's charge for "under 7 day" sicknotes for the same reason thay charge for signing passport applications. It is not part of the job thay are paid to do, but it is a service people want, they are merely charging fair market value for an added value service.

QDMQDMQDM
29th Jan 2004, 00:02
The reason that doctors will issue sicknotes for illnesses under 7 days in length is that some employers will (illegally) ask for them before paying sick pay.

Yes, and the reason that doctors are not contracted to issue sick notes prior to 7 days is to try and prevent the surgeries being flooded with people with sore throats demanding a sick note for one day or two off work, because otherwise they'll get it in the ear from their employer. While there are a lot of bad employees out there, they are matched only, I'm afraid, by the amount of terrible, awful, tyrannical employers.

QDM

Jerricho
29th Jan 2004, 02:58
QDM and PW, thanks for taking the time for the replies guys. I'll be honest and admit that I hadn't really considered an employer asking for a certificate for less than the 7 days. Guess I have led a bit of a sheltered life when it comes to my employers.

Tom the Tenor
30th Jan 2004, 22:21
Self certification for up to 7 days sound ridiculous to me. Lots of people who are lucky enough to work for employers who provide holiday pay must be screwing that system quite nicely, thank you very much.

Here in Ireland it is normal that you can be off work sick for up to three days without a cert and after that it is again the norm to have a note from the doctor.

A lot of GPs in Ireland are extremely, very rich. Normal surgery consultation fees vary from about 45 Euro to 60 Euro and for a house call about 50 Euro to 70 Euro. The poor and over 70s have free care, people under 70 are assessed by a Community Welfare Officer as to their eligability.