The National Health Service (NHS) provides most health care to most people free of charge, but there are exceptions. Prescription charges have existed since 1951 and there are a number of other services for which fees are charged because the service is not covered by the NHS, for example producing medical reports for insurance companies, solicitors or employers.
Doctors are involved in a whole range of non-medical work, largely on the basis that they occupy a position of trust within the community, and are in the position to verify the accuracy of information. If a GP signs a certificate or completes a report it is a professional duty that s(he) checks the accuracy of such information. This may involve examining the patient’s entire medical record.