FAQs

What are the NHS Prescription Charges?

These charges apply in England only. In Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales prescriptions are free of charge.

  • Prescription (per item): £8.60
  • 12-month prepayment certificate (PPC): £104.00
  • 3-month PPC: £29.10

If you will have to pay for four or more prescription items in three months, or more than 15 items in 12 months, you may find it cheaper to buy a PPC.

There is further information about prescription exemptions and fees on the NHS website

How do I obtain a sickness certificate?

You do not require a doctor’s sickness certificate for any illness lasting seven days or less. Your employer may however require you to complete a self-certification form (SC2) which is available from your employer or on the HMRC website.

Evidence that you are sick
If you are sick for more than seven days, your employer can ask you to give them some form of medical evidence to support payment of SSP (statutory sick pay).

It is up to your employer to decide whether you are incapable of work. A medical certificate, now called a ‘Statement of Fitness for Work’ (see below) from your doctor is strong evidence that you are sick and would normally be accepted, unless there is evidence to prove otherwise.

You could also provide evidence from someone who is not a medical practitioner, e.g. a dentist. Your employer will decide whether or not this evidence is acceptable. If your employer has any doubts, they may still ask for a medical certificate from your GP.

Statement of Fitness for Work – ’Fit Note’
The ‘fit note’ was introduced on 6 April 2010. With your employer’s support, the note will help you return to work sooner by providing more information about the effects of your illness or injury.

For more information see the DirectGov website (where this information was sourced).

Why does the receptionist need to ask what’s wrong with me?

The reception staff are members of the practice team and it has been agreed they should ask patients ‘why they need to be seen’. Reception staff are trained to ask certain questions in order to ensure that you receive the most appropriate medical care from the most appropriate health professional at the most appropriate time.

The receptionists are asked to collect brief information from patients to help:
– doctors prioritise house visits and phone calls
– ensure patients receive the appropriate level of care
– direct patients to see the nurse or other health professionals rather than a doctor where appropriate.

Reception staff, like all members of the team, are bound by confidentiality rules:
– Any information given by you is treated strictly confidentially.
– The practice would take any breach of confidentiality very seriously and deal with it accordingly.
– You can ask to speak to the receptionist in private, away from the reception desk.
– However, if you feel your issue is very private and do not wish to say what this is, then this will be respected.