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cost of GP letter

pollyanna1052 Member Posts: 2,032 Disability Gamechanger
edited September 2019 in PIP, DLA, and AA
Hi, I thought this important enough to open a new discussion, before folk spend what they needn`t.

I recently applied for PIP and read `don`t pay for any letters/reports from health care providers....if we want that, we`ll obtain it` in the PIP claim notes.

I had asked about it at my GPs previously and was told it would cost £20.

So I didn`t do it.



  • deb74
    deb74 Member Posts: 777 Pioneering
    Hi @ Pollyanna1052. I paid £30 for a drs letter which was completely useless and a waste of money. All it said on it was that I had acid reflux and was taking medication for it! I took one look at the letter and shredded it. 
  • AnkyieSpon
    AnkyieSpon Member Posts: 138 Pioneering
    Hi I agree don't waste money in a gp letter. Keep important hospital letters that give a diagnosis or results of tests and scans that way you have your own records at home. They do their own investigations after so will get all the info they need. 
    (Ankyie Spon)
    I'm a Pain Warrior
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Member Posts: 28,349 Disability Gamechanger
    Totally pointless paying any money for a letter from a GP when it's not the best evidence to send in the first place. A GP will very rarely know how your conditions affect you against the PIP descriptors, if they do then it's often patient lead and the patient has told their GP what to write, this isn't evidence. A GP can only give basic information like appointments, medication etc and this isn't going to help a PIP claim.

    Don't be fooled into believing that "if they need the evidence they will ask for it" that's not exactly true, they very rarely contact anyone for any evidence. The onus is on the claimant to prove they qualify and not theirs.
  • pollyanna1052
    pollyanna1052 Member Posts: 2,032 Disability Gamechanger
    thanks for your responses.
    I had to cancel a holiday last year (in UK), due to a chest infection and they moved it on to this year for me. But only because I had paid £12 cancellation insurance. Gad II did that!
  • Dithreabhach
    Dithreabhach Member Posts: 7 Connected
    It all boils down to luck of the draw GP wise. I'm lucky in that I have good GP's. The last ESA face-2-face interrogation  re-assessment was cancelled because they went off the letter my GP wrote to them and decided to keep me in ESA Support Group.
  • chiarieds
    chiarieds Community Co-Production Group Posts: 12,265 Disability Gamechanger
    I agree with @Dithreabhach, whilst appreciating comments that @pollyanna1052 also made. I am fortunate in that I have always had good GPs. My current one advised that altho' the assessors for a PIP claim should ask him for his opinion, they rarely did, as this costs the assessors. However he did say he would be willing to write me a supportive letter which would cost £25. He appeared to understand the PIP descriptors, so part of his letter was indeed 'patient lead,' but he also observed my mobilty problems, looked at an old injury I had which left me with a partially dropped right wrist & a permanently partially dislocated collar bone (when I asked him to), so he confirmed these, as well as writing about my diagnosis.

    I didn't have much to go with in my recent PIP claim; just my testament & that of my GP (previous specialists having given up on me for a variety of reasons). So, in certain circumstances, a GP's letter may prove incredibly helpful.

  • Chloe_Scope
    Chloe_Scope Scope Posts: 10,557 Disability Gamechanger
    Thank you for sharing this with us @pollyanna1052 and we wish you the best of luck with your f2f on Thursday!

  • pollyanna1052
    pollyanna1052 Member Posts: 2,032 Disability Gamechanger
  • Vicki988
    Vicki988 Member Posts: 24 Connected
    Where are you all from? I'm in N Ireland and never had to pay.
  • Joanne_Alumni
    Joanne_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 188 Pioneering
    The worst example of this I have come across was when I was helping a gentleman with an appeal. His GP asked him for £90 for a supporting letter!
    Needless to say we went to the appeal without it.
    I told the Tribunal judge what had happened, he postponed the hearing and requested the information from the GP, who then had to provide it to the court.
    Thankfully I have not come across a GP charging that much again.
  • wilko
    wilko Member Posts: 2,447 Disability Gamechanger
    Hello I was requested to supply medical evidence from my GP who did not respond to the insurance company’s request until they paid the £120 bill after three months the information was sent . This year I gave my consent and received a call from the company asking why I didn’t send the request to my GP.  My reply was you never asked me nor requested me to. After a pause the lady said your claim is still valid we won’t be contacting your GP.
  • worried33
    worried33 Member Posts: 411 Pioneering
    edited September 2019
    my thinking is if the GP doesnt legit think you should get PIP they quote a fee to discourage you, and if you pay then give minimal info.

    My GP didnt charge me and thoroughly filled out the form with 2 paragraphs justifying each descriptor she recommended, I got the form she filled in from a welfare group she recommended to me, her help was very good to be honest.

    Bear in mind tho I was seeing my GP (before she retired) on average at least every 2 months, and have been using her for several years now, so she knows me quite well and how my conditions affect me.  If you are someone who sees your GP once every few years and especially jumps from one GP to another on different appointments then I think the GP is far less likely able to provide useful evidence.

    On the patient led thing, I dont agree with it.

    "ALL" forms of healthcare are patient led, when a healthcare professional has to to treat you they have to ask you questions on things like where pain is, how your condition affects you, symptoms etc.  This applies whether its a GP, nurse, consultant or OT.  So I dont know why some people pick out GPs for saying "patient led".  Even a HCP assessing you  for PIP/ESA asks you questions and that could be considered "patient led" as well.

    I also disagree on opinions stating a GP only knows what medication you on and appointments you attended, that suggests a GP has no medical knowledge.  A GP is a gateway to all sorts of treatments, they are the first line of medical help for most patients and as such are "best placed" for knowing what conditions a patient has and how they are affected.  They also have access to "all" notes made by consultants in hospitals.

    So my advice is always try your GP to see if they are willing to provide supporting evidence, if they are and especially if its for free, accept it, and use it if it helps the claim.  My GP clearly was understanding as she told me about the welfare group (she wouldnt even know about this welfare group if she hadnt a clue about PIP), and then filled in the form with high detail that they supplied.

    So no not all GPs are useless.

    Yes some people have had a bad experience with GPs, but they shouldnt assume that applies to all or most GPs.
  • cristobal
    cristobal Member Posts: 987 Disability Gamechanger
    edited September 2019
    @joanne_scope - I believe that GPs are not contracted to carry out benefit work - it's not what they are required to do, so if they do choose to write a letter then it will be done on a private basis and the fee negotiable.

    GPs are trained professionals - would you expect a solicitor, or architect to prepare a report for £90?
  • worried33
    worried33 Member Posts: 411 Pioneering
    I have edited my above post to try and be more respectful to others, sorry I get carried away at times.
  • cristobal
    cristobal Member Posts: 987 Disability Gamechanger
    edited September 2019
    @worried33 - I don't agree with you on this.

    As you can see from my earlier post AFAIK assisting benefit claims isn't what GPs are expected to do. They don't charge a fee to discourage you - it's because of carrying out extra work on a private basis.

    You do raise a good point though when you say "see if they are willing to provide supporting evidence"...what happens if they provide evidence which is contradictory? Presumably you don't send this to DWP?

    Personally I think my GP is very good - but I prefer her to be treating illnesses and helping people get better, not doing paperwork...

  • worried33
    worried33 Member Posts: 411 Pioneering
    edited September 2019
    Yep if its not supporting then you dont supply it.

    Its not part of a GPs job, but thats the same for consultants, nurses, carers, OT's.  For any HCP.  

    But if you have a mechanic as a witness to you not doing a crime, its not their job to be that witness, but you still ask them for supporting evidence right? I see it no different in that respect.

    GPs have the right to ask for a fee as its not part of their salary to write out these letters.  But should that be a reason to not ask them? I dont know.  but I feel its worth asking them as I found out in my case they dont always charge, and I am not alone, there has been others who get letters for no fees, and even if there is a fee, if the evidence is of good quality it can be worth it.  It depends on each case on its own merit I think.

    If my GP quoted me a fee I probably would ask first what he/she would be writing for that fee, and depending on what they say I would make a decision on that, so if I was e.g. quoted £50 and then told I will confirm your medication only I would probably say no thanks.  But if I was told by my GP I believe strongly you fit this criteria and I will write a detailed reasoning for that then I would be more likely to pay, I hope that makes sense.
  • cristobal
    cristobal Member Posts: 987 Disability Gamechanger
    Its not part of a GPs job, but thats the same for consultants, nurses, carers, OT's.  For any HCP.  

    @worried33 - I agree with you, it's not their job.

    I don't really get your point about witnessing, or not, a crime. It would be everyone's duty to come forward whether they are doctor, dentist, mechanic, waitress ...but not in a professional capacity...

    Where we disagree I think is that I prefer HCPs to be doing their job, not getting involved in paperwork...

  • worried33
    worried33 Member Posts: 411 Pioneering
    Fair enough :)  I understand where you coming from as their time is overstretched and the more time they spend writing letters the less they spend on patients.
  • paffuto10
    paffuto10 Member Posts: 388 Pioneering
    I agree that I would prefer GP 's to be concentrating on their patients rather than paperwork. 

    However, with the manner in which today's disability benefits are being conducted, claimants feel they need as much written evidence as they can possibly get. 

    We've been pushed into this position! 
  • worried33
    worried33 Member Posts: 411 Pioneering
    I feel a better solution is actually to pay the NHS the capita/atos money, simply contact NHS professionals for the opinion, and if they cannot supply it then contract the NHS to do the assessments, the extra money for the NHS would hopefully pay for more GPs etc. to compensate for the time taken up.

    It isnt just letters tieing up GP's time but also tribunals, as I know a few GPs local to me do 2 days a week tribunal service, thats 2 days they not using for patient consultations.  


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