Almost half of practices say income from private fees has fallen in past year

Almost half of GP practices have seen their income from private and professional fees fall in the past 12 months, according to a poll by GPonline and its sister site GP Business.

UK money
(Photo: Viktoria Rodriguez/Getty Images)

A total of 44% of 180 GP partners and practice managers responding to the poll said that income from fees for private or professional work had fallen in the past year.

Just 10% said that income from private fees had increased during that period, while 30% said it had remained the same. The remaining 16% said they did not know how income from private work had changed.

Many of the GPs and practice managers responding to the poll said that the pandemic was the main reason why income from private fees had fallen. They suggested that much of the fall had been becuase they were receiving less requests from patients.

Practice workload

However, the poll also found that 31% of practices had stopped providing service or work that attracted a fee due to increased workload in general practice.

Examples of work practices said they had stopped included travel vaccinations, some 'fitness for' certificates and employment medicals. A number of respondents said that their practice's decision to cut back on this work had resulted in lost income for their business.

Many respondents said that they had effectively stopped doing private work during the pandemic. However, some practices said that private income had begun to increase again as they restarted this work.

Some 22% of practices said that they planned to take steps in the coming year to increase the amount of income they earned from private and professional fees, primarily through reviewing their fees and increasing prices in line with inflation or to better reflect the work involved.

New average fees released for GP private and professional work

GP practices can update their prices for non-NHS services following the publication of average practice fees by GPonline's sister website GP Business.

GP Business surveyed practices across the UK, asking them to provide details on the amount they charged for 21 commonly-requested non-NHS services.

The results of this year's survey have now been added to the unique GP Fees Database at gpbusiness.co.uk to help practices to benchmark the amount they are charging for these services.

The GP Fees Database is only available to GP Business subscribers. Click here for more details on how to subscribe.

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