HomeBlogBMA GPs Local Medical Committees leaders plan campaign to encourage GPs to ‘just say no’ to benefit requests
  • Boadacia Iceni August 23, 2013 at 3:20 pm

    When do we get our DIY suicide packs from IDS? I’ll not post any more vitriol, I’m too exhausted, and ill.

  • JudeB August 23, 2013 at 3:29 pm

    I couldn’t have said it better myself! I am one of those who was turned away by my doctor who had sought advice from the BMA and been told not to assist me with a letter. She told me this on the phone, and listened to me sobbing and telling her that I was on the verge of killing myself, and basically just said that she had her instructions!!! LUCKILY, when facing a tribunal, a judge and a sensible doctor, decided without even needing to read a letter from my MP, that the whole matter was a waste of time, and I should have been put in the ‘Support Group’ straight away! GP’s these days seem to generally only be in the job for the cash, how many do you know who GENUINELY care about their patients?

  • Steve Davies August 23, 2013 at 3:50 pm

    We are all doomed, the benefits budget is going to be slashed back to the bone and the individual suffering of the person is gone. The NHS is being split apart with private companies from France and the USA straining at the leash to sell us all private insurance, in fact some from US here already. Conservatives and Liberals and Labour are only interested in their own personal achievement and wealth so where is any hope for the disabled , poor and elderly. The only route is shown by the opponents to the fracking or to Badger cull etc etc ….protest and protest

    • Trevor August 23, 2013 at 4:17 pm

      Nil Desperandum, mate. There’s always hope.

  • Trevor August 23, 2013 at 4:12 pm

    Any GP complying with this shameful LMC campaign should be charged with dereliction of duty. As JudeB rightly says, most doctors are only in the profession for the lucrative financial rewards it brings. Just what the hell are they moaning about! An average salary of £100,000 (some reputedly on upwards of twice that amount) and not obliged to work weekends, evenings or nights; and if they think they’ve a pressurised workload, they should try talking to some of their exhausted (mentally and physically) patients attempting to survive on the minimum wage – or iniquitous zero-hours contracts – while compelled to endure a long hours’ culture just to keep the wolf from the door.

    On my (fortunately infrequent) visits to my (part-time) GP, I always notice a copy of the Daily Telegraph on her desk – that says all I need to know about her political stance.

  • duncan a. smith August 23, 2013 at 7:28 pm

    Sincw when did GP stand for Government Packdogs?

  • duncan a. smith August 23, 2013 at 7:29 pm

    Since when did GP stand for Government Packdogs?

  • disabled-dave August 24, 2013 at 11:51 am

    So doctors are only supposed to provide the info if requested by the DWP? Well the DWP are hardly going to ask for info that would mean that they have to agree that someone is disabled are they? And then they only have to provide information for an appeal. So instead of winning the first assessment, end of, everybody is going to lose the first assessment then win on appeal so the whole process costs twice as much and Atos get paid twice as much; brilliant idea from a Government that is supposedly trying to cut costs on benefits.

  • GEOFF REYNOLDS August 24, 2013 at 1:11 pm

    PAUL MALPAS made several freedom of information requests to the DWP.

    On one of his requests, he asked if a GP could issue a “STATEMENT OF FITNESS FOR WORK”.

    This is the DWP’s response;

    In the decision dated 2 July 2013 (ref VTR2728/13), it was confirmed that General
    Practitioners are not trained to make an assessment on a person’s capability for work
    according to legislation.

    Furthermore the DWP state;

    In the decision dated 2 July 2013 (ref VTR2728/13) it was confirmed that GPs are able to
    provide “simple fitness for work advice to aid their patient’s recovery and help them return to

    I am making reference to this because when the DWP stopped my Incapacity benefit due to a biased ATOS examination, i was informed that to carry on getting payments i had to tender a statement of fitness for work from my GP.

    Twice i have cited the freedom of information reply and they are choosing to ignore it………..

    I think the DWP are deliberately trying to keep the issue under wraps. Ask yourself why they choose to ignore their own documentation?

    Something sinister is being played out………


  • disabled-dave August 24, 2013 at 3:18 pm

    Having read the document referenced by Geoff I am extremely confused. The Government states that doctors are only qualified to treat medical conditions, not to judge if someone is fit to work, and yet if you are working and are taken ill, in order to get sickness benefits you self-certify for the first week, then you have to get a fitness certificate (the old sick note) from your GP to say that you are not fit to work. The two are mutually exclusive.

    I’m going out on a wing here, but bear with me. Perhaps we should complain that doctors should not be able to issue the fitness certificates because according to the Government they aren’t trained to do so, and that therefore working people should also have to get Atos assessed when they claim to be ill. Bear with me…

    If the working non-disabled population found themselves on the wrong end of an Atos examination whenever they were ill I think there would be riots, strikes, and general disorder, and we would get a hell of a lot more support from the majority of the population. Faced with losing the vote of any working person who was taken ill, broke a leg, or similar short term (but lasting longer than a week) illness, the whole thing would be scrapped within a week.

    Is it worth campaigning for this idea?

  • Julie Hutchinson August 24, 2013 at 3:23 pm

    I asked the DWP why they keep telling claimants that they can’t appeal ceratain sanctions.

    You can appeal any sanction that they impose, it is up to the judge at a tribunal, to say if an appeal is not to be recognised, not the DWP.

    Appeal every decision they throw at you, its your right under legislation.

  • disabled-dave August 24, 2013 at 4:05 pm

    Just sent the following to my MP. Please feel free to copy it and send to your own MPs:

    A Freedom of Information Act request has resulted in the Government saying that they have to use Atos “health professionals” to judge if a disabled or seriously ill person is fit to work because they are trained in this area, whereas doctors are only trained in TREATING illness and disability.

    So the Government states that doctors are only qualified to treat medical conditions, not to judge if someone is fit to work, and yet if you are working and are taken ill, in order to get sickness benefits you self-certify for the first week, then you have to get a fitness certificate (the old sick note) FROM YOUR GP to say that you are not fit to work.

    The two are mutually exclusive. Either a GP can make such a decision or they cannot.

    So which way are you going on this:

    a) Doctors are capable of deciding if someone is fit to work or not, and therefore the whole Atos/DWP assessments set up is a complete and utter waste of time and money,


    b) Doctors are not capable of deciding if someone is fit for work or not, and therefore any of the working population who take sick-leave should have to attend an Atos/DWP assessment to decide whether they can work or not because their own doctors are not capable of making that decision.

    Note that option a) blows the Government’s attack on the disabled out of the water and makes the ministers involved look like complete idiots for wasting millions of tax-payers money on something completely unnecessary, whereas option b) will cost your party millions of votes because no-one with any short-term health problem could possibly score any disability points and they would therefore have to work through their illness.

    • Boadacia Iceni August 24, 2013 at 4:13 pm

      Good effort there and let us know the resulting answer. I think we all can imagine it though, whether s/he is Con’ or LabourCon.

      No one can be ill these days, illness has been written off!

      We are all collateral damage, in the fight to keep feeding the greedy Mafia.

  • Karen M August 24, 2013 at 5:19 pm

    “At Filework, an Atos Healthcare HCP reviews the Med 3 details as well as any information made available by the claimant, and may decide that further medical evidence is required (FME). The FME may be requested from any HCP involved in the claimant’s care. All information is then reviewed, looking for any evidence that suggests the claimant does not require a face to face examination to determine their level of disability.” ESA Handbook p19

    The onus is put on the claimant and the Atos HCP doing the filework. However, it is clear that the undue burden is put on the claimant to find the evidence and to send this in with the ESA50 for the “filework” by Atos. If GPs react by not allowing this vital evidence then the claimants are likely to face WCAs and consequently are found fit for work.

    The real sticking points are: the lack of clarity as to what is FME and why one poorly qualified Atos employee is in charge of reviewing the evidence and then deciding whether FME is needed.

    I had a very poorly written MED3 issued by a random GP at my practice- somebody who didn’t look at my notes- fortunately my regular (kindly) GP wrote out another with accurate details. With this accurate MED3 and a good supporting letter from a specialist, both sent in by me with my ESA50, I was put in the Support Group without WCA. I had also filled my ESA50 very carefully and only included relevant functional details for the descriptors. I have to say the process took an exhausting month (with help from a friend) and that it made my physical and mental health deteriorate.

    It might be worth showing your GP the quote from the Handbook to show what the expectations are of MDs such as GPs and specialists regarding the effectiveness of sending in medical evidence with ESA50.

  • Jane Young August 24, 2013 at 6:10 pm

    What I will say is that in my opinion, villifying and abusing GP’s will get us nowhere. We might think they’re too well paid, we might think they’re much better off than we are, but most GP’s I know work extremely hard and GP burnout is a big issue.

    I think BT will agree with me that working with the profession, as much as we can, is more likely to bring positive dividends in the end. Both claimant/patient and GP are under a lot of pressure; blaming each other, rather than the Government who got us into this mess, seems counter-productive at the very least.

    I’m very glad BT and others have got GP’s on our side to work with us. I think we should all be extremely grateful for all those GP’s and other healthcare professionals who care enough to give themselves extra work to help us.

  • donna August 24, 2013 at 6:44 pm

    If GP’s refused to support patients applying ESA and with their appeals, then they would effectively be harming their well-being by leaving them, in many cases, destitute and probably deteriorating in their sickness/condition/disability. Doctors have a responsibility to support their patients who are unable to work. You cannot even claim ESA without a sick (or is it fit) note, so until a time comes when claimants no longer require a sick note, nor supporting evidence, in order to claim/receive ESA, doctors play a vital role in these whole ESA process. They can’t just choose to opt out, or their patients will require even more care when they end up in hospital, dying, suicidal, etc.

    • GEOFF REYNOLDS August 25, 2013 at 9:41 am

      The BMA represents the GP’s, and they are probably distancing their members from the chances of being sued by their own patients for making wrongful fitness for work declarations…………………..

      If the freedom of information reply from DWP is correct, which it must be, the doctors are outside their remit anyway, what they are being asked to do is illegal………

      Read this carefully; its the response from the FOI request submitted by Paul Malpas;

      In the decision dated 2 July 2013 (ref VTR2728/13), it was confirmed that General
      Practitioners are not trained to make an assessment on a person’s capability for work
      according to legislation.

      Legislation is being broken as we speak.

      The DWP are instructing GP’s to break the law!!!!!!
      No ifs or buts………………………..

  • GEOFF REYNOLDS August 25, 2013 at 10:25 am

    The DWP, have just written to my daughter, she does my typing for me as i have rheumatoid arthritis in my hands, (Hi folks).
    i once got a letter from them stating i no longer require sick notes from my doctor anymore. I am registered disabled for life, that is, till i went for an ATOS examination and was found to be fit for work with no points……….
    Strangely, i left work due to an industrial accident and i get paid Industrial accident benefit.
    I used to get Incapacity benefit, but they took it from me after i refused to get “fitness for work” notes from my GP.
    Now they have taken all my Disability living allowance………

    On the scrap heap it may seem………

    The DWP now refute the letter they once sent me saying i don’t have to send any more sick notes, quoting it is now out of date.
    Have you ever heard anything so ridiculous………….

    Furthermore, the letter only applied to one kind of benefit and not the DLA they have stopped.

    In turn i have got my daughter to reply. She is telling them that what they asked me to do initially, provision of a “fitness for work” certificate from my GP is breaking the law and secondly, provide legislation that shows i require a sick note for each and every benefit i receive.
    She also stressed that if anything was to befall me as a result of having my benefits terminated, that a dossier of my paperwork be sent to the press and she would personally sue the sender of my recent letter, NICK JONES DWP.

  • Karen M August 25, 2013 at 11:21 am

    “ESA approved HCPs act as specialist disability analysts. The role of the disability analyst is different from the more familiar clinical role of reaching a diagnosis and arranging treatment. For the disability analyst, a precise diagnosis is of secondary importance. The primary function is to make an assessment of how a person’s day to day life is affected by disability, and to relate this to the legislative requirements.” ESA Handbook p21

    The DWP independent review decision VTR2728/13 is very much clearer. The decision of the reviewer (2 July 2013) confirmed that General Practitioners are not trained to make an assessment on a person’s capability for work according to legislation. He confirmed that any evidence coming from a GP of the functional effects of a health condition on their patient is “simple fitness for work advice to aid their patient’s recovery and help them return to work”.

    We may hate this but GPs are acting within the legislation if they refuse to do patient-generated medical reports. However, many GPs do support their patients as part of their duty to care. A good patient-doctor relationship with your GP can pay dividends when it comes to a correct and full MED3 and printouts of relevant medical records. Then he/she could write a short letter of support/advice relating your conditions to the likely effects on functions and to the likely effect of a return to work (I would suggest a printout of the relevant pages of ESA50 to help him/her as a guide to what Atos wants).

    The only way this can be changed is to change the legislation and to ensure there is clarity and, above all, fairness. Oh yes, also ensure that Atos does not remain the sole service provider and that its training is made more rigorous (especially English language training) and that its work practices are substantially reformed.

  • al August 25, 2013 at 11:13 pm

    I sent DWP a letter, from my GP asking them, to ask him to provide medical evidence on my behalf. (he wont write anything without being asked, presumably if he’s asked, he can charge.) He got no reply. At all! I rang to ask what had happened. Had they not received the letter? (They do tend to lose things.) Yes they received it. So why no answer? The Guy laughed, As if the DWP would ask for medical info from my GP. (presumably he also thinks my GP will send a bill). But isn’t it rude to ignore a letter from a professional? He scoffed some more and said it was highly unlikely a reply would be sent. The trouble is I’m piggy in the middle and I don’t want to be. My GP who is over worked wrote a pointless letter to the DWP instead of just writing a supporting letter for me. I can understand in part why the DWP guy laughed. I said I needed to take the issue furthur and then it got interesting. I received a phonecall saying no medical evidence would have been sought on account of there is no appeal been applied for. I said, even if the appeal was a delusion of mine, didn’t my GP deserve a reply? We got side tracked. If I wanted to be on appeal I needed to fill in the forms all over again. Oh dear, all those months getting by on reduced money, and I havn’t even made it to the bottom of the list! How sad. The nice DWP man sent the letter, saying to fill in the form and return it in the special envelope, only, he didn’t send the form. I wrote a letter put it in the envelope and waited for both form and envelope to arrive. (all this costs nothing apparently) Next day obviously realising his error, the nice DWP man had sent the form separately, no envelope enclosed. How now will the form know where to go? I started filling it in, got tired and gave up. Sunday I had another go. My house was turned upside down looking for letters and info. My lounge looked like I’d been burgled and I was too exhausted to sort it out. Monday I found the original letter, stating that DWP had my appeal form and I was officially on appeal with the reduced benefit. I rang DWP, said about the letter and they said of course you are on appeal, it says it here on the computer clear as clear. Politely I said yes but the other guy, said I wasn’t and he was actually working in the office that deals with all this stuff. Could I speak to the head honcho? I got a call back from someone in authority and she said it’s quite clear, I’m on appeal and she was going to talk to the guy who said I wasn’t. Put a flea in his ear that sort of thing. I’ve heard nothing since. No apology, no letter to my GP explaining things, no envelope for my form nothing. It was busy work from a mischievious DWP employee to a scumbag claimant who needed putting in her place. I don’t need the extra work and stress. When I’m stressed, my health suffers more and I have to visit my GP for help. Usually a prescription or two. This is how we are saving money, getting out of recession and I’m not surprised the GP’s don’t want to play. It’s a rubbish game, the rules are unfair and the only reasons we play is because we are still in denial or are just too scared to end it. It’s a game, and sick and disabled people are the dispensible pawns. It’s fun for some, I can imagine the nice DWP man giggling helplessly at my bogus plight. How did we get to be so heartless? Why are our leaders so lacking in empathy? David Camerons beloved disabled son died and he hasn’t stopped bashing the vulnerable ever since. How convenient that he no longer needs to worry over whether his child would shame him by growing up to be a worthless scrounger! How sad that having experienced disability close up, our leader choses to turn his back on those in need.

  • GEOFF REYNOLDS August 26, 2013 at 8:58 am

    All this talk about submitting substantial evidence to the DWP in regard to a claim is “ONE BIG PISSTAKE”…….

    The DWP already hold all information about your health history in their archives……….

    I requested that the DWP send me all the information they held on me. Anyone can request this, it costs you nothing but it costs them a lot of time and effort to collate it all…………
    Drop them a line, recorded delivery of course, and ask for your files. They must provide them by law!!!

    My files came in three huge envelopes. The paperwork was seven inches high…………

    They contained every sick note and visit to my doctor, every questionnaire i had ever filled in as a result of my benefits and all relevant scoring of my rights to have the benefits….

    In other words, they are sending you on a “WILD GOOSE CHASE” to furnish them with information that is already at their disposal.


    • Karen M August 26, 2013 at 1:33 pm

      For DWP to hold information on you it first has to have been collected by them from you and your GP and specialists…

      What you can now do is, rather than send any more evidence, just write a letter referring them to the correspondence they’ve already received.

      • GEOFF REYNOLDS August 26, 2013 at 6:03 pm

        They already have all your files, it does’nt need collating.
        They have tons of evidence on your disability claims going back to when you first applied.


        Its just a pity that they withheld it all to deny me my benefits that i was formerly awarded for life……………………..

        “ask them for all information they hold on you”

  • Meredith Ong August 26, 2013 at 9:16 am

    I asked, via the freedom of information act, if any of the staff, at whatever level of the DWP, received PRIVATE HEALTH CARE.
    Strangely, they first said the information was not held!
    They then retracted this statement and said that no one at the DWP received PRIVATE HEALTH CARE.
    Upon inspecting the pages on the request, it seems they have removed their answers completely.

    ,,,,,,,,,,,another cracker from this totally honest department!


  • geoff reynolds August 27, 2013 at 9:14 am

    Controlled killing, or murder by decree, whatever you wish to call it, was a master stroke swiftly executed by the DWP.

    It left thousands dead and millions in a state of anxiety, poverty and trauma in its wake.

    Sadly, the truth of the matter will be hurriedly buried as the lawlords and cabinet ministers are briefed on the pending disclosure of, probably the worst atrocity, since the second world war………..

    As eyes focus on the barbarity of the acts against the disabled, poor and most vulnerable in society, the DWP try to distance themselves from the rising death toll.

    Announcing that they will not gathering statistics of peoples lives claimed by their heinous policies is just one way of trying to escape the onslaught of claims that will be heading their way soon.

    “We were only following orders”, has worn rather thin over the years, culpable homicide springs firmly to mind……

    Whatever way you look at it, murder is murder, especially when premeditated to bring down welfare costs.

    • Boadacia Iceni August 27, 2013 at 10:56 am

      I look forward to the next Nuremberg type trials of the future if we are not all forgotten by the indoctrinated masses amongst us.

      It seems obvious to me that anyone who is ill or disabled and not in a position of being a fleeced contributor, with nothing to ever look forward to in old age, will be denied any income and their very existence.

  • Annos August 27, 2013 at 3:12 pm

    Sunday, August 25, 2013

    “Scotland in Crisis under Tory Union : Conditions so bad, Citizens Advice publish Survival Guide for Scots with no money & no food”


  • GEOFF REYNOLDS August 27, 2013 at 3:38 pm

    The qualifications of an ATOS HCP are follows;

    1/ They had no friends at school and probably dont have any now.

    2/ They did not excel at their job in the first instance.

    3/ People in the same profession saw them as being inferior.

    4/ Probably came from working class backgrounds with minimum cash flow.

    5/ Must possess a hatred of human beings who are disabled.

    6/ Lust for money must outweigh the morality of what they are doing.

    7/ Were probably bullied as children and see the job as revenge for all the hatred they received themselves.

    8/ Have no remorse or feeling for the incredible pain and suffering that they cause on a daily basis.

    9/ Can switch off to the suicides that are regularly reported.

    10/ Usually capable of keeping their job a secret and working in other areas where their identity is not known.

    11/ Have undergone basic training that is tantamount to kiddies homework.

    12/ Feel confident that the work they do will never come back to haunt them.

    13/ Must be confident in lying,cheating and stealing from the most disadvantaged in our broken society.

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