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At the heart of general practice since 1960

Can I claim for assisting at road traffic accident?

Q - I assisted at a road traffic accident recently. I understand there may be a fee I can claim. How do I do this?

A - GPs' entitlement to claim for attending victims of traffic accidents is currently enshrined in the Road Traffic Act of 1988.

The Act requires the person who is using a vehicle involved in a road traffic accident to pay any qualified medical practitioner, on request, a fee for attending each person involved in the accident who needs immediately necessary treatment due to bodily injury (including a fatal injury). The attendance fee is due from the driver of the vehicle even if they are not the injured person.

The statutory fee for providing such a service, not revised since 1995, is £21.30, to which may be added a mileage rate of 41p per mile if the doctor has to travel more than two miles to reach the scene of the accident.

General advice is that a claim should be sent to the driver by recorded post within seven days of the incident, setting out the circumstances of the claim. The recipient should then either pay the GP or, more commonly, pass the claim to their insurer.

Finally it is worth noting that where a GP is unable to recover such a fee, a GMS emergency treatment fee can be claimed under paragraph 33.11 of the Red Book.

Steve Ainsworth is a management consultant specialising in the

NHS and general practice,

and a former FHSA director

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