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Medical Certificates for Housing

Updated on Wednesday, 10 April 2024, 606 views

Somerset Local Medical Committees represent all the GPs in the county and has a statutory duty to advise local GPs on matters of contract and obligation to patients and other service providers. We are often asked questions about requests for medical certificates to establish priority for housing and we offer the following advice:

The demand for medically non-essential letters, reports and certificates represents a major problem for GPs and diverts substantial resources from patient care. In recognition of the scale of the problem the government introduced a policy specifically aimed at reducing this burden in Making a Difference - Reducing General Practitioner (GP) Paperwork in 2001.

This contains the following in relation to housing allocations; “GPs will be approached regarding housing allocations only when their input is essential and no one else can provide it.” The target date for achieving this objective was April 2002.

Therefore there is no contractual or professional obligation to provide housing medical certificates free of charge under the NHS and we have advised local GPs that they can refuse these requests. Some GPs may be prepared to provide a medical certificate for which they may charge a reasonable fee.

is important to remember however that helpful, supportive information such as outpatient letters and prescription counterfoils are readily available to patients which can be supplied by them directly to the council for copying at no charge and without delay to help decision making.

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