GP surgery fees for travel consultation: FOI release

Information request and response under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002.

FOI reference: FOI/18/00334
Date received: 5 February 2018
Date responded: 6 February 2018

Information requested

You asked whether your husband's GP surgery has a right to charge him a fee for a travel consultation.


1. I enclose a copy of all of the information you requested.

2. The answer to your question is a practice may not charge for providing a travel consultation.

GP contractors shall not, either itself or through any other person, demand or accept from any of its patients a fee or other remuneration, for the benefit of the contractor or another person, for the provision of any treatment whether under the contract or otherwise; or any prescription for any drug, medicine or appliance, except in the circumstances set out in Schedule 4 of the General Medical Services Regulations. These circumstances are:

a) from any statutory body for services rendered for the purposes of that body's statutory functions;

b) from anybody, employer or school for a routine medical examination of persons for whose welfare the body, employer or school is responsible, or an examination of such persons for the purpose of advising the body, employer or school of any administrative action they might take;

c) for treatment which is not primary medical services or otherwise required to be provided under the contract and which is given—

  • pursuant to the provisions of section 57 of the Act(1) (accommodation and services for private patients), or

  • in accommodation provided by a care home service which is not providing services under the Act, if, in either case, the person providing the treatment is serving on the staff of a hospital providing services under the Act as a specialist providing treatment of the kind the patient requires and if, within 7 days of giving the treatment, the contractor or the person providing the treatment supplies the Health Board, on a form provided by it for the purpose, with such information about the treatment as it may require;

d) under section 158 of the Road Traffic Act 1988 (payment for emergency treatment of traffic casualties)(2);

e) when the contractor treats a patient under regulation 24(3) (this applies to patients who contractors doubt are actually on their patient lists), in which case the contractor shall be entitled to demand and accept a reasonable fee (recoverable in certain circumstances under regulation 24(4)) for any treatment given, if the contractor gives the patient a receipt;

f) for attending and examining (but not otherwise treating) a patient—

  • at the patient's request at a police station in connection with possible criminal proceedings against the patient,

  • at the request of a commercial, educational or not-for-profit organisation for the purpose of creating a medical report or certificate,

  • for the purpose of creating a medical report required in connection with an actual or potential claim for compensation by the patient;

g) for treatment consisting of an immunisation for which no remuneration is payable by the Health Board and which is requested in connection with travel abroad;

h) for prescribing or providing drugs, medicines or appliances (including a collection of such drugs, medicines and appliances in the form of a travel kit) which a patient requires to have in his possession solely in anticipation of the onset of an ailment or occurrence of an injury while he is outside the United Kingdom but for which he is not requiring treatment when the medicine is prescribed;

i) for a medical examination—

  • to enable a decision to be made whether or not it is inadvisable on medical grounds for a person to wear a seat belt, or

  • for the purpose of creating a report—

  • relating to a road traffic accident or criminal assault, or

ii. that offers an opinion as to whether a patient is fit to travel;

j) for testing the sight of a person to whom none of the paragraphs (a), (b) or (c) of section 26(1) of the Act(3) (arrangements for general ophthalmic services) applies (including by reason of regulations under section 26(1E)(4)) of the Act;

k) where the contractor is authorised or required by a Health Board under the contract in accordance with paragraph 44 of Schedule 5 to provide drugs, medicines or appliances to a patient and provides for that patient, otherwise than by way of pharmaceutical services, any Scheduled drug; and

l) for prescribing or providing drugs or medicines for malaria chemoprophylaxis. None of these would appear to relate to charging for a travel consultation ahead of a typhoid vaccination.

None of these would appear to relate to charging for a travel consultation ahead of a typhoid vaccination.

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