The BMA has therefore issued amended guidance. This clearly states that it is up to the GP to decide whether to undertake with work with or without charging a fee.
Fees for responding to the Police letter regarding firearms
It is up to the GP to assess how best to proceed regarding the charging of a fee, taking on board the following factors and guidance:
- The work involved in responding to the letter is minimal and therefore can be undertaken easily without delay and without a fee.
- The work involved in responding to the letter requires time and resources from the practice that necessitate a fee to be charged to the patient (the Police should not be charged). We would advise GPs to seek confirmation from the patient that they are in agreement to pay a fee before undertaking the work so not to cause additional confusion or delay. If there is a delay owing to this and you are unable to respond to the letter within the 21 days, please notify the police of this.
- No one in the practice is available (e.g. on holiday or off sick) to complete the work within 21 days. Please notify the police without delay.
- The practice does not have the capacity to undertake the work within the 21 days. Please notify the police without delay.
- That the GP has a conscientious objection to gun ownership and no other GP in the practice is available or able to undertake the work. Please notify the police without delay.