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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
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I have just asked " can a doctor demand his fees of £307 when

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i have just asked " can a doctor demand his fees of £307 when he has neglected to issue, as advised by him, a letter of referral to a consultant. he finally issues a letter after 2 months on my reminder.
he was advised we consulted as a private patient for immediate attention. it would have been quicker to consult a doctor through NHS.
I am prepared to pay good faith fee using American Express card of sending you a cheque.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 2 years ago.
Hello, my name is***** am a solicitor on this site and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. Were you told that a fee would apply for issuing the letter?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
No.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
After the consultation and examination doctor advised he would would issue a referral and arrange an immediate visit and consultation with a specialist. He failed to do anything for 2 months and acted when reminded. There was no mention of a charge for issue of the referral. He issued his bill for £307.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Our visit was with a Bupa approval. Approval reference number was given to the doctors staff before the consultation and examination. Bupa forwarded the bill to us for payment.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 2 years ago.
The first step is whether such charges would ordinarily apply for such referrals. Was there any agreement in place for example which said that you would be charged for this, was it communicated to you that a charge will be made for this or were you in any other way informed about it? There must have been some notification to you that a charge would be made to send this letter and the charge agreed in advance. They can’t really send a letter then issue an invoice for an amolu8nt which was never mentioned or agreed with you. So this is the first consideration.
If you knew a charge would be made but the services were provided late that does not mean that no fee would be payable. You still required the services in question and you chased them for them to be completed. So you still wanted their assistance and for that you would still be charged. It may be possible to negotiate a discount due to the lateness but it does not mean you will not pay anything – if you did not want to proceed with the service due to the lateness then you should have informed them of this and cancelled the request then you would not have been charged at all but asking them to proceed with it, even with a delay, makes you liable for the costs at least to some degree.
So the main argument it seems here is that there appears to have been no notification of the fees – that they would apply and how much they would be for. Remind them that the fees should have been given to you in advance and you should have been given the option to decide whether you wanted to proceed based on these fees. As you were not informed about them at all then you should be able to challenge it on this point.
I trust this has answered your query. I would be grateful if you could please take a second to leave a positive rating (selecting 3, 4 or 5 starts at the top of the page). If for any reason you are unhappy with my response or if you need me to clarify anything before you go - please get back to me on here and I will assist further as best as I can. Thank you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thanks. Clarifying further: The doctor charged his fees for examination and consultation. during examination, doctor felt it necessary and advised further and immediate check up with a specialist that he would arrange overnight. He failed to act for 2 months and acted when an objection was raised about his irresponsibility. His examination was a waste as it served no purpose without the follow up of the required specialist. We went to him on s private visit, in preference to the NHS treatment for prompt attention.
Our approach to him 2 months later was to question his bill drawing his attention to our wasted visit.
In short the doctor was totally irresponsible. He failed to perform his duty of care and treatment to a patient and expects to be paid for incomplete service.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 2 years ago.
Ok so there are grounds to refuse to pay and you cannot be forced to do so at this stage. He has sent a bill, you can dispute it and refuse to pay. It is then up to him whether to take it further – that would require him to make a claim in the small claims court, whether that actually happens considering the low value pursued is something to be seen. But even if that happens and a court decides that you owe the money you would not have to pay much on top of that as each party meets its own legal fees in the small claims. Hope this clarifies?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thanks. I am sending you shortly Copy of a letter I sent to the lawyer which will clarify this issue in greater details.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 2 years ago.
ok
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Please see below my letter to the doctor and advise me chances of success and if you will be prepared to deal with this on my instructions.
DEVDAS GULAB
AUTHORIZED BY KAVITA GULAB 17 GROSVRNOR SQUARE
LODOND W1K 6LB13 August 2014Ms Christine Bird
Mr Kalpesh S Patel
Consultant Ear, Nose and Throat Surgeon
London ENT Clinic Limited*****London W1G 6AQChristineTo set the record straight I wish to state:1. My proactive at least 3 or 4 telephone calls:a. Following my wife Kavita Gulab's consultation with Dr. Kalpesh Patel on 2 April 2014, you will recall I have proactively made at least 3 or 4 telephone calls to you on the matter of submission of referral letter some 2 months after the consultation and Dr Patel’s bill.b. During our first conversation in June you checked and confirmed that both Dr. Patel and you had overlooked to send my wife’s referral letter to the Speech Therapy specialist. Such a referral formed a major part of Dr Patel’s advice during the consultation.c. Following my reminder to you, and some 2 months after the initial consultation, you then acted on this which, as you will see below, resulted in the exchange of messages with Claire Bolton.d. During my recent telephone call to you few days ago, you will recall I spoke to you about the outstanding bill and repeated, as well as reminded you, about the delayed referral. The conversation took an unpleasant turn and regrettably resulted in your threat to handover the recovery of the invoice to a collection agency. On my polite suggestion to find a solution to resolve the issue, you changed your tone to advise me that you would update Dr. Patel with the details of our conversation. I presume you have since briefed Dr. Patel.2. Dr. Patel's phone call of Monday 11 Augusta. This morning Dr. Kalpesh Patel called my daughter, Ms Nitu Gulab, to chase up payment. It seems that both you and Dr. Patel have conveniently ignored this rather important and pivotal oversight, and in fact, Mr Patel now denies the delay of 2 months. Instead, you both have chosen to adopt a one-sided, simplistic approach of the bill simply having not been paid. That is not the case.b. Please explain what was the point of rushing all the way to Harrow, to see the Doctor on an urgent and private basis, if his advice and strategy could not be implemented, due to your not having made arrangements for the follow-up treatment, as advised during the consultation? It seems to me that I would have been better off seeking such a consultation on the NHS, which would surely have resulted in a speedier and more reliable follow-up.c. Further, I was not informed at the time of booking the appointment with you that by attending at the hospital in Harrow, the consultation would cost a further £224. It was incumbent on you (and the hospital) to advise me of this prior to the consultation, as not only would it have been more convenient to see the Doctor in central London, but we could also have made a better, informed decision, of our choice.3. I suggest you now discuss the matter internally, in light of the above, and revert back to me with your suggested proposals, with regards ***** ***** bills, being that of Dr Patel, and of the Harrow hospital.Yours sincerelyD. Gulab
Authorized by Mrs. Kavita Gulab
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 2 years ago.
Hello this is where we are unable to provide further advice I'm afraid. We cannot provide you with prospects of success - for this you need to see a solicitor in person who would conduct a formal case analysis, you cannot do this from a few exchanges online. Also we cannot take on work for you - you need to instruct a solicitor in person and find someone local to you willing to take this on - we only provide a Q&A service online
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Understood. I am impressed with the way you have dealt with my questions.
I intend to record near highest rate.
Thank you for your suggestion to instruct a local lawyer. With present electronic facilities I do not need to have my lawyer round the corner. Besides i understand you operate from Edgware which is not so far from Grosvenor Square. I have sent a letter to the doctors agents. Please advise your terms if, in the unlikely event we need to defend the case vigorously in case of need. Besides I have 4-5 other cases as under:
1. Two law firms have failed to submit itemised bills.
2. A law firm has not credited £15,000 to my client account. 3. I have court order for recovery of eight hundred pounds.
Would you be able handle these and other cases pending. I will give you my contact details if you are interested.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 2 years ago.
Hello, sorry I should have made it clearer - when I said we cannot take on work it is actually against the rules of this site for me to take clients through it. So I provide my legal expertise via this site but I must keep it on here. So whilst I obviously take on other work from people who come directly to me outside of this site, I cannot take on clients that I have initially met via this site. Therefore, my services would only stretch to discussing anything you wish on here, without me actually being able to formally be instructed in any legal work. I hope this clarifies and sorry for any inconvenience.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Ben. Produced below is my letter sent today to the Clinical Debt Collection agency:
DEVDAS GULAB AUTHORIZED BY KAVITA GULAB 17 GROSVENOR SQUARE LODOND W1K 6LB18 August 2015
Clinical Debt Collection
P. O. Box 1495
Hemel Hempstead
HP1 9PS.
Dear Sirs
DR KALPLESH PATEL INVOICE NO. CDC 11825
Your Letter of Demand Dated 06 August 2105
You have recently contacted us on behalf Dr. Kalplesh Patel to claim £307.00, which you allege is owed by my wife.
I am surprised at Dr. Kalplesh’s endless demands and must point out that you are demanding payment, without knowing the correct facts, including and especially, the irresponsible and careless medical attention that has been provided by your client. Such irresponsible action should rightly, in fact, be reported to the Government official Healthcare department, which to date I have refrained from doing.
Dr. Kalplesh Patel is aware we have no such debt being owed to him. He has an obligation to satisfy the Government official Healthcare department and ourselves that he has performed his duties, as promised, that entitle him to the present demand for payment.
Doctors Code of Conduct
We are familiar with the Doctors Code of Conduct and the doctor’s duty of care and attention to their patients.
Dr. Kalplesh cannot deny that he was well aware my wife, at that moment, was under the joint care and treatment of 3 different Senior Consultants. They required Dr. Kalplesh’s assistance to complete their assessment and jointly made an urgent appointment to examine my wife the very same day.
Dr. Kalplesh’s entire approach proved to be irresponsible and careless. He neglected to fulfil his promise made during the examination, and neglected to write a promised referral letter that evening as well as make an immediate appointment for a follow-up consultation with a Speech Therapist, as identified by him, that he advised was an absolute necessity. As such, his consultation remains incomplete, incompetent and of little or value.
During our first conversation with Dr Kalplesh’s secretary Christine Bird in June last year, she checked, confirmed and openly admitted that both she and Dr. Patel had overlooked to send my wife’s referral letter to the Speech Therapy specialist. Such a referral formed a major part of Dr Patel’s core advice during the consultation.
Following my reminder and some 2 months after the initial consultation, the secretary then acted on this but by then it was clearly too late."[A Doctor] must not ignore or disregard a claim that is disputed and must not continue to make demands for payment without providing clear justification and/or evidence as to why the party’s claim is not valid.""Your firm must suspend any steps as [the Doctor’s] agent takes in the recovery of a debt from anyone where the person disputes the debt on valid grounds or what may be valid grounds."Where anyone disputes a debt on valid grounds or what may be valid grounds, then your firm and [the Doctor] must investigate the dispute and provide satisfactory details
By continuing this debt-collection activity, whilst investigating a reasonably queried or disputed debt, you are deliberately using deceptive and/or unfair methods and bullying tactics. Your client is well aware of our complaints as well as the on-going dispute regarding this alleged debt.Furthermore, ignoring and/or disregarding claims that debts are disputed and continuing to make unjustified demands for payment amounts to psychological harassment. Aside from health concerns, my wife is becoming increasingly distressed each time Dr. Kalplesh and yourselves make contact with her.D. Kalplesh Patel seems determined to dishonestly extract money at all costs, including his present act of defiance of professional obligation. We would ask that no further contact be made concerning the above accounts unless you are able to categorically provide evidence as to our liability for the debt in question.
We await your written confirmation that this matter is now closed. Otherwise we will have no option but to make a complaint to the appropriate departments and consider informing them of the Doctor’s, as well as your actions.We look forward to hearing from you.Yours faithfully
D. Gulab
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 2 years ago.
Thank you, ***** ***** agree with the contents and would not change anything.
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