Requesting a Doctor’s Letter for Third Parties
In this Practice, we receive frequent requests for medical information by numerous organisations.
Often this is reasonable. However we strongly object to the culture of
“Get a letter from your doctor.”
Often patients themselves are perfectly able to provide a description of their medical problems and how these affect their needs. This has the advantage that the information is given to the organisation in lay terms which should be easily understood by the non‑medical staff who assess their relative priority. There should only rarely be a need to approach the GP for a more detailed report.
The NHS does not fund medical reports by GPs, and GPs will charge a fee for such reports, as is done for any other private medical report.
However, GPs have no wish to provide reports where the information can be easily obtained from the individual themselves. Patients should not have to pay for reports to organisations when they can, in most cases, provide the necessary information themselves.
The routine request for “Get a letter from your doctor” simply adds to the ever increasing burden of paperwork which detracts from the time GPs can spend with their patients.
An efficient system of self reporting of medical and functional problems will reduce the administrative burden on the NHS and allow an equally effective prioritisation of needs for those organisations that request this information.
The GPs in this practice will therefore not routinely provide third-parties with medical reports or letters, which are requested via our patients.
However, if the organisation that has requested “Get a letter from your doctor”, would like to write to us directly we will respond quickly.
Please instruct the person/organisation as follows:
- To write directly to us, requesting the information they require. Why they require it. And to whom we should reply.
- They will need to enclose a mandate which is signed by yourself, where you give them permission to receive medical information about you.
- They will be expected to pay a fee for this report, and we will send them an invoice.