Skip to main content Accessibility Statement
If you’re having mental health issues that are causing you to be behind on paying back debts, the last thing you need is an additional charge to prove what’s happening to your bank.

Patients no longer to be charged for mental health doctor's notes

If you’re having mental health issues that are causing you to be behind on paying back debts, the last thing you need is an additional charge to prove what’s happening to your bank.

Many banks and creditors now offer extra financial support to people who are struggling with their mental health. This could include freezing interest on debts or even writing them off completely.

One problem some people have encountered is that one in three doctors have been charging patients to complete the form you’re required to provide as proof in order to access this sort of help. Patients reported receiving bills as large as £150 for doctor’s notes, although most were charged between £30-£50.

This is a huge issue, as it can continue a vicious circle of debt, poor mental health, and being unable to afford basics like food or utilities.

One person who was charged to gain written proof of his mental health problems is Ian:

“I was on really low benefits. Paying £20 for the doctor’s note had a really big impact, it was a big chunk of the money I had left that week. I didn’t expect them to charge me. I was going to go to the shop after my appointment to get food, but after the doctor’s I didn’t have any money left. Until my benefits came in I couldn’t afford fresh food, so had to live on dry pasta and the things in the cupboard.”

Two years since the Money and Mental Health Policy Institute began campaigning to put a stop to these charges, they’ve finally come to an end. The form itself has been shortened to a single page, so it’ll be quicker and easier for doctors to fill it out.

In addition to this, bodies representing banks, creditors and debt collection agencies have agreed to only require a doctor’s note as a last resort when considering these sort of cases.

You should now be able to provide evidence you already have before being required to get a certificate from your GP.

It’s been included in the British Medical Association’s new five-year contract with NHS England, so from April, you should no longer be asked to pay for a doctor’s note for this purpose.

 

What do you think?

We really want you to share your views, but please remember to be nice ☺
All fields are required. Check out our full commenting guidelines

By clicking on 'Post Comment', you're agreeing to our Commenting Policy