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Dial 111 to access the Somerset Out of Hours through NHS111.

In the event of a Medical Emergency (chest pains, loss of consciousness etc.) dial 999

Remote pacing and cardiac monitoring devices – SCAM

We have received details of a particularly cruel phishing scam which is circulating at the moment and affecting people with remote pacing and cardiac monitoring devices.

A patient appears to have been the victim of an opportunistic phishing scam, and paid £167 over the telephone using his debit card to the caller.

The caller stated that his “box/equipment” was not working due to “Dust”. He was offered the opportunity to replace it and at the same time offered the option of purchasing either a five year warranty for £140 or lifetime warranty for £167. As the patient was due to have a routine remote check on his device by the Pacemaker clinic, the patient believed that the call was legitimate and therefore paid £167 to the caller. The patient and his partner were subsequently suspicious, so they called the Pacemaker clinic a few hours later to check if the problem had been fixed. The clinic explained it was not a call from the hospital or from the manufacturer of the equipment.

Clinics and device companies would never ask for personal details or charge for services.

Private Charges In General Practice

The majority of work which is completed in General Practice is NHS work. The GPs are sometimes asked to complete forms for insurance companies, prepare a letter or reports for solicitors, housing agencies and undertake medicals. These items are all private services, which mean that there is a charge for this work to be completed. Like many Surgeries, we request payment for this in advance of the work being completed. Private work is entirely optional, we do not have to actually offer them, but we do because we know our patients sometimes find the services valuable. The Practice has put together these frequently asked questions to help patients.

Why do private letters/reports/medicals take longer than NHS services?

The Practice prioritises NHS work over private work. Many of the GPs at TRMC are in the Practice for over 12 hours a day completing NHS work. Private work is done in addition to NHS work.

How long will I have to wait for my letter/report?

We aim to complete within two-three weeks once we have received payment.

I only need a simple letter, why does it cost so much?

This work does take time, and various members of the practice team are involved. The Practice values this time spent so we have set our costs accordingly.

I need a Taxi/HGV medical?

Not all patients who require a taxi or HGV medical have any medical conditions. We charge a standard fee for this service. As the GPs are filling in the same legal documents regardless of your medical conditions. Some patients can take longer than others but we have a standard fee as this is the fairest way. There are other providers for taxi and HGV medicals which you are free to go to.

Why has my life insurance request taken so long?

The Practice also receives requests from insurance companies. These requests sometimes require lots of work to be undertaken and the fee which has been negotiated often does not reflect the amount of work which is actually required. Sometimes re-negotiation takes place between the Practice and the insurance provider, which can cause delays. If you are concerned about the delays, please contact your insurance provider.

Why are some requests for letters/medical reports refused?

The Practice will not provide fit to letters for anyone doing any activity, as our insurance will not cover us to do this. Items include parachute, bungee jumps, diving etc. We will provide letters to airlines stating patient’s medical conditions/pregnancy stage but will not comment on fitness.

The Practice does not counter sign passport applications or driving applications.

If you have any queries with any request, please speak to the reception team, who will discuss your request with the GP.

I have not been charged previously, so why have I been charged now?

That was a mistake, we will not charge in retrospect but will charge moving forward.

Do I have to pay for travel vaccinations?

Some travel vaccinations are within the NHS some are not. We ask for six weeks’ notice for any travel requests, if you are travelling sooner than that, you will need to contact a travel clinic.

My employer has asked me for a blood test or letter?

Any tests which are required by your employer should be offered through Occupational Health Service, which your employer should have access to. These tests will not be done on the NHS.

Sometimes we receive requests for letters from an employer about a patient’s fitness. This is rarely appropriate for a GP to do and should be requested via Occupational Health. The GP will do a letter stating current conditions and past medical conditions but will not comment on fitness to do a particular job.

I need a copy of my medical records for my Solicitor?

If your Solicitor requires your results, as long as we have received your consent we will provide them. The Solicitor will pay a fee for this.

I cannot afford to pay.

We are sorry, we do not have a sliding scale of fees. We charge a fee which reflects the time required.

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