Requests to sign passport applications
The BMA has spoken with the Passport Office with regard to the new forms. The need to put down a passport number is a post September 11 initiative and, as one of the new anti-terrorism measures, there is no chance that the rules are going to be altered for a particular professional group. This means that GPs will have to decide whether they are willing to sign it and put down their passport number and whether they are not.
As filling in such forms is clearly outside the remit of GMS and applicants can clearly go to a number of people to validate the form, our advice is, if a doctor feels worried that the patient will abuse his/her number, or he/she is concerned about the form do not fill it in.
It is worth noting that as a result of GPC work with the Cabinet Office - whose second report into reducing burdens on general practictioners has recently been published - doctors/general practitioners are no longer mentioned as possible countersignatories.