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Change to our Non-NHS Services Offering

Dear Patients,

We are writing to inform you of some important changes in our practice policy, in line with the British Medical Association (BMA) guidance. We have decided to cease issuing certain types of certificates, each of which we will address separately below. Please note that each of these are not part of our GP contract with the government, which means we are not paid to do them.

1. Fitness to Compete in Activities Certificates: According to the BMA, “even if a thorough history, examination and any necessary investigations are carried out, doctors are still not in a position to guarantee that a patient is fit for a particular activity”⁶. As a result, we are unable to sign or provide these certificates. We would recommend you seek a specialist private GP to complete these forms for you.

2. Firearm Licence Certificates: The BMA strongly supports the Government’s overall message, that gun ownership is a privilege and not a right, and that firearms must be in the hands of only those who are deemed safe and responsible. Legal responsibility for monitoring firearms holders rests with the police. We, as a practice, have chosen not to engage in the firearms certification process on grounds of conscientious objection because of ethical beliefs. Therefore, we will no longer be providing these certificates. We do not need to arrange for alternative provision of a report, as per the BMA. Those who need such a certificate need this done by a GMC-registered doctor, and there are a variety of private options for those that need to get this done. One such example is

3. Freedom from Infection Certificates: These certificates are often requested for travel or employment purposes. Often, further investigations are needed for these certificates, which do not fall under the remit of NHS services. We would recommend you seek a specialist private GP to complete these forms for you.

4. Fitness to Fly Letters. GPs are encouraged by the GMC to “work within the limits of [our] competence”. As we are not specially trained in aviation medicine and not insured for this work, we are unable to state whether patients are Fit to Fly. This often affects our pregnant women. We no longer have access to the pregnancy notes of our pregnant patients and so are not even able to write a statement of fact regarding the pregnancy. As a result we strongly encourage our pregnant patients to obtain such letters from their midwife. We have written to the midwifery team to explain this.

You are able to obtain these at various private sources, including: Medical Certificate (

We understand that this decision may cause inconvenience to some of our patients. However, our primary responsibility is to ensure the safety and well-being of all our patients. We believe this decision aligns with that responsibility and the BMA guidance.

We appreciate your understanding and cooperation in this matter, and continued trust in our practice. If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Best regards,

The Health Centre