LEGAL ACTION: Has your GP refused to provide you with Further Medical Evidence for your DWP appeal? Please Get in Touch with Black Triangle Now



As all of you will no doubt be aware, Black Triangle and our sister organisation Disabled People Against Cuts have assembled a first-class legal team to take forward legal action against Local Medical Committees and individual GPs who have launched a disgraceful ‘Just Say No’ to providing Further Medical Evidence Campaign.

This campaign seeks to persuade GPs to deny sick and/or disabled patients the Further Medical Evidence (FME) required to support their ESA applications and achieve justice before First-Tier Social Security Appeals Tribunals.

We have already identified a number of cases with “standing”.

Our law requires that the party, or parties bringing a case before the courts must demonstrate:

“sufficient interest in the matter to which the application relates”


“an individual who is directly affected by a decision or other measure” who will on that basis have a “sufficient interest”.

In our case, this means anyone who has requested FME from their GP to support their case with the DWP and has been refused (Their refusal to provide FME is the matter to which our legal action relates).

We now invite as many of you as possible who have been refused FME under this policy to make contact with us immediately so we can progress our case further, in the most legally watertight manner achievable, without further delay.

Sick and/or disabled people deserve and have an absolute right to expect better than this from our medical professionals.

The LMCs ‘Just Say No’ Campaign is a a disgraceful betrayal of patients by LMCs from across Britain.

It is, quite frankly, mercenary behaviour that is both morally repugnant and, as we shall fully demonstrate, unlawful.

We are going to put a stop to it.

In the initial stage, please text John McArdle at 07778316875 with ‘Refused FME by my GP’ in the line. We will then phone you back to discuss your case and take it from there.

Yours in solidarity

John McArdle


Black Triangle Campaign

Edinburgh, 7th October 2013


34 thoughts on “LEGAL ACTION: Has your GP refused to provide you with Further Medical Evidence for your DWP appeal? Please Get in Touch with Black Triangle Now

  1. Miss Janet Hughes says:

    My doctor refused my request for a letter on friday 4th October saying he cant write me a letter or he would have to write one for every patient.Also he said that he cannot say how my disabilities affect me as he would literally have to be with me to see how i function on a day to day basis for several hours or days or for him to be able to do this.

      1. tracy says:

        my dr refused and wont even put my diagnosis on my sick note.i have changed drs now after having hime for about 20 years

    1. abp1873 says:

      Same happened to me today , for a mandatory reconsideration for PIP , I showed him what DWP wrote and he admitted they were wrong and they misrepresented facts on medication strength and it’s effects of Fentanyl and anti depressants . He initially said they only do it if we appeal , it was then I told him it was for a mandatory reconsideration. He then said only if DWP contact them ! I lost the plot a wee bit to be honest.

      When I made the request in writing last week I asked the receptionist to ensure Doctor knew it was for a supporting letter and he said today he knew , I then asked with my severe physical problems and mental health issues why the hell would he make me come if he was not going to help anyway .

      Been absolutely apoplectic since and struggling to keep it together , not sure if it is worth making a complaint as seen a bit on CAB website that letter refusal for benefits is a legitimate reason to make a complaint .

  2. John McGovern says:


    Very interested in the FME debate, I wonder though, do Scotland and England/Wales and Northern Ireland have differing rules and Regs? Maybe requiring differing information submissions on this issue, as Health is a devolved issue?

    1. JJ says:


      Good to hear from you.

      We making an expert submission to the Procurator Fiscal and the Scottish Fatalities Investigation Unit with regard to this case:

      If substantial risk had been flagged up by this young man’s GP at the very outset of the Atos nightmare in the manner that Black Triangle is campaigning for, this dreadful tragedy would almost certainly have been avoided.

      We are meeting with Nicola Sturgeon Cabinet Secretary for Welfare and Alex Neil MSP (SNP) Cabinet Secretary for Health & Wellbeing shortly to lobby the Scottish Government the whole issue. I met with Sturgeon briefly last Thursday night in Leith.

      Will keep you posted, comrade.


  3. A A F says:

    I’ve had a number of fluctuating conditions for more years than I dare care think of. My doc had the email recently off the DWP that said ‘no more med certs’. She almost bought it… until she realised it makes absolutely no sense whatsoever when someone with one thing after another was calling into the surgery. In fact, if the word ‘Fibro’ hadn’t been mentioned, she’d have still believed the email. I had to have an x-ray on my back last week and I’ll be making the appointment to see her about that and the other stuff midweek. It’s all ongoing. Today, I’m off out for a hospital appointment – that’s going to wear me out!
    I’m not sure if I’m blessed with a good doc or not, but, she’s been sort of good so far… so far…

  4. ALICE GARRETT says:

    My gp will absolutely not give fme… he will only give surgery print outs…and I had to ask for that !! He did however receive a letter from dwp asking for his opinion of my mobility … which he did fill in and I was placed in sg after my assessment…. but that was my last assessment… the one before that…was a complete nightmare and I was on appeal for 15 months… then received a new esa50 … after 6 weeks of investigations they admitted losing all my paperwork..!!!

  5. Janet Evans says:

    I asked for a letter from my GP to back up my medical condition details and he refused saying that they would not believe him anyway. They did give me a print out of the list of medication and that stated on there some of the conditions and I took that with me. I had failed my first ATOS examination I was awarded 0 points which was overturned at my Tribunal – I then scored 6 points which was still below the 15 needed. I had deteriorated by this point and they had started off a new claim for me – I was awarded ESA and put in the support group with my deteriorated condition.

  6. ian Blease says:

    My Doctor said he would provide a letter, if asked by the DWP, they haven’t asked, and evidently this is actually in my favour. As it is, my payments end 2 Oct and my appeal hearing is on the 16 Oct.

  7. Mr Alasdair Lord says:

    I asked my Dr to write me a letter with additional medical information for my WCA, and was told by her that she had been advised by the DWP not to do so, and so she refused.

    1. Kerry Thomson says:

      Mine said the exact same and I now have to wait for the tribunal to decide whether or not I should be in support group instead of WRAG because they had to use old evidence!

  8. Fran says:

    I have asked my doctor for support but been refused. I explained that my tribunal was coming up soon and that I would not be able to make it through if I lost but the doctor said he did not think it would make any difference if he provided me with a letter.

    I have made another appointment with a different doctor and hope he will help. I am very, very, very frightened about what the future holds if I lost my tribunal.

  9. christine bentley says:

    i haved claimed dla for 5 years since i had my heart attack and 2 heart procedures also diebetic filled in a dla form in early this year and from being on full dla they have put me on the lowest 20 pound week they also stopped my esa saying my husband earns minimum wage so i cant claim it appealled my dla as my condition as got worse as i now have copd got a letter saying lost my appeal and its going to court worked full time for 38 years upto having my heart attack even tried to sign on at job centre they said iwont get paid because my husband works i am really depressed as i have no money at all and finding it very hard

  10. Colin Bruce says:

    My Consultant Psychiatrist wrote me a letter saying he would not get involved in writing a letter unless ATOS asked him for one. ( I still have the letter) My GP refused a letter of support as well citing Health Center policy. I am not at appeal stage but will I will be I’m sure. Forth Valley NHS. Dollar Health Center.

  11. linda cordingley says:

    Hi my name is Linda and I worked in an NHS histology lab. Due to lack of planning when our old lab shut down and we transferred my friend and I worked in unsafe conditions and where syphoning formaldehyde. The window would not open when we filled the path center machines and many times the tiny room without ventilation was taped off. During this time my friend suffered fluid round her heart and lungs and I went into liver failure after two bouts of pulmonary odema and severe facial swelling. I also went into liver failure and almost died. I now have PBC, chemical exposure, grown bowel polyps after the hospital put a drain into me and numerous health problems one of which in bilateral pleural thickening. My medical notes have been deleted, the lab closed and the lady who took my place has also died. I have been considered fit for work by an ATOS doctor who during my examination took two telephone calls from her family. Despite asking I never got my medical, my disabled sister was transferred via the Court of Protection after serious abuse and neglect in the care system which left her on life support, she survived only to be left unwatched to eat and choked to death. Not only have I had to deal with her horrific passing after 9 days on life support. She had lost all higher brain function yet still had full brain stem. Life support was removed and it took an hour for her to suffocate in my arms black in the face and staring at me. ATOS and DWP said “don’t you think you are making a bit of a fuss, she was only your sister!”
    I have been told if I could have taken Hampshire County Council to the COP then I am fit enough for work. Last week I have been diagnosed with portal hypertension and the hospital tell me they think I have an aneurysm in my stomach. I do not know what to do I am not a drunk I have primary biliary cirrhosis and chemical exposure and other problems like osteoporosis, etc I am begining to wonder if life is worth living any longer as I fear for my furture. My GP says she can not deal with ATOS though did give me a note for a month saying I have post traumatic stress from witnessing my sister death. My benefit is to be cut as I have been in the work group for a year and I am worried. UNISON were originally involved but the person who tired to get us industrial injuries benefit and we believed was a Solicitor was actually only a clerk. I was told later it is because the NHS donates millions to UNISON. There is not justice for NHS workers and I have absolute proof of what I believe inferres corruption. Even the Incident forms have been tampered with, records changed or deleted and friends tell me I have been wiped from the NHS system locally as there are no records for me. The health and safety records where we were threatened with immediate closure have all been deleted and it’s as if my work place never existed. The hospital have written anxious depressed on my OH files and wrote that I was only a data entry clerk! The reason for this is the hospital was employing the wife of one of XXons vice presidents at £1,000 per week as a locum scientist for two years and my friend and I were only MLA. I was doing the work of a technician without the training and on the odd occasions when there was a golf match I was placed in immunology, signed on as a chief so I could do all my own tests, and add results to the computer without any supervision at all. No one will help me yet I have a vat amount of papers and photos even a recording of my friend who died talking about how bad our conditions were for almost two years. I do not feel I have been treated fairly and my employer should not be allowed to recall my GP medical notes and delete them!
    My MP said he can not help and our other MP says my sister has suffered systemic abuse and her death is Corporate Manslaughter. My GP and the DWP seem to think that because I have written complaint letters into what happened to my sister I am well enough to work fulltime. They do not see me sat in my dressing gown or times when I have to lay down or am sick and upon hearing she had been “violent ally sexually abused, forced to commit violent sexual acts and was held over her best friend who was being raped.” She was left wheelchair bound, lacked mental capacity with numerous health issues who would not have fought for a brave woman like that. She spent the rest of her life in NHS “care” and my life has been ruined by the NHS. I lost my job with them due to ill health, my pension frozen and had to get an MP involved to get my pay slips back after they refused to give me them as I could not claim benefit originally. The NHS has not done me and my sister any favours and to go against them is dangerous they will refuse you treatment and turn you away from A and E. I know I have been on the end of their bullying. It is still going on too.
    Sorry for the rant
    kind regards

  12. GEOFF REYNOLDS says:

    Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    October 8, 2013 at 9:28 am

    This extract from a recently posted freedom of information request to the DWP, shows the true extent that the government will go to, to deprive you of a recorded ESA EXAMINATION…..

    In addition to the revised WCA AL1C form being sent to claimants,
    the Minister for
    Employment also made a commitment that additional information on
    audio recording would be
    made available. I can confirm that this has also been done and more
    information on audio
    recording has been uploaded to the Department for Work and Pensions
    (DWP) section of the
    GOV.UK website. The information in question can be accessed through
    the following link –…

    Atos Healthcare has also included a link to this further
    information on their website as well. The
    link can be accessed from the following page –…

    Neither of the above links actually work therefore

    1) Please send me the correct links

    2 Please also send a copy of your WCA AL1C form

  13. Nick Gravestock says:

    Whilst I have a lot of sympathy with the claimants whose GPs will not write letters, I also have – as a retired GP -some sympathy with the GPs. Many are working 60+ hours a weeks, and this falls outside their NHS contract and is not paid. There is little action they can take against the progressive cuts in GP funding that have seen many GPs take paycuts of 15% in order to protect the pay of their staff who get paid out of the same budget. Since retiring early, in which the stress of the workload was one factor, I am now sitting on the ESA appeal tribunal. A good letter from a GP is very helpful, but many letters do not add much to what we know already: a good letter may take up to an hour to write so that is the problem. The bottom line is that the government approach to getting people back to work is not sympathetic to mental illness, but then if you read yesterdays Sun headline, it is not just the government but a section of society that denigrates mental illness. Getting people to understand that 1 in three will suffer some form of mental illness in their lives is proving an uphill struggle.

    1. abp1873 says:

      My daughter and I offered to pay the fee and was still refused . I am not asking the GP to lie but just to give an honest report of my conditions , how long I have had them and based on that a prognosis . When surgeons trauma orthopaedics tell you have suffered a life changing injury and that is not backed up by a GP it is infuriating !

  14. jane mcfadden says:

    thank you for informing of this. i was getting so frightened of every thing that is happening,there are a few gems i have come along recently and to leave your number is such an act of kindness to us very ill frightened the gp,yes your work load may increase but you are missing the point.a gp will not starve or be made homeless or use food banks or be so desperate with the whole disgusting situation that you commit suicide because of it.whilst i have sympathy for the gp i would rather be in their shoes than in mine, people are dying.THANK YOU for posting this,i feel like some one has just put their arm around me and said you will be ok

  15. Robert Scott says:

    My GP refused me a support letter for my ESA appeal, stating that it would not be considered as evidence at my tribunal. After discussing this with CAB, who informed me the GP was talking rubbish, they (CAB) advised me to ask for my medical records. The surgery has phoned me to say my records are ready to collect for a fee of £50. My position is; Do I go into hardship so I can provide medical evidence for my appeal?

  16. eric addison says:

    I asked my gp for more information, as ATOS only request the basics. I even handed him the Black triangle paperwork for your doctor to sign, declaration for fit for work, 29. he shrugged it off.

  17. Lena Smith says:

    I have been completely unable to get any supporting letters relating to my ESA appeal from my GP. All I get is is two minutes patronising babble about me needing to focus on my positive achievements in my life. But a complete refusal to put anything down on paper to support my appeal.

  18. lyn says:

    My husband was 0 pointed by Atos. We asked GP to fill in form to support appeal. He said, through the receptionist, that we had given him the wrong form as it was not what he was used to. He wasn’t prepared to fill it in as he doesn’t know my husband well enough to say how his medical problems affect his mobility etc. He will supply information if he is asked by DWP for it.

    He is currently supplying sick notes but won’t put all the medical problems on it.

  19. Peter Cargill says:

    I asked my GP for a letter to support my ESA claim. After nearly a week of chasing I spoke to my GP who said they needed to see me as I have only been with the surgery since November.

    I saw my GP today and was told that as they don’t know me they cannot write me a letter even though they have my notes with correspondence from my neurosurgeon.

    My GP has told me that up I should look for work even though I can’t stand for more than 30 mins at a time and I can’t sit for more than 30 mins at a time.

    I have had no money from the ESA since the beginning of January and I just don’t know what to do.

  20. kerry says:

    hi, i have my renewal esa medical on the 15th April.
    I have severe ocd, depression and anxiety to which since Oct 2013 havent been out the house due to overdose, last monday was the first time i managed to get out and it was my very first time at this doctors surgery however i found out that dwp sent the surgery a questionnaire in Jan to fill which obviously will have nothing to support me.
    My doctors was very sympetic towards me as i did have a little breakdown up until i mentioned that i need to bring a gp’s medical letter, she was adament that the practise only does medical letters if the outside organisation requests it themselves not me, i even showed my last doctors esa support letter but she wasnt having any of it.
    I now have no idea what to do, is there a way i can get the dwp to resend a new questionnaire to my doctor as i dont have any evidence.
    Any help would be brilliant.

  21. mikep says:

    i have asked my gp today with regards to my situation i have loads of health issues and i have always got past the ESA Medical for the past 4 years, this year do i failed on points, cant understand why, i had a heart attack this year, i take more than 20 drugs a day all have nasty side effects, and i also have a heart issue, i asked my GP to help with regards to my situation my appeal with department of work and pensions ,but i got a letter back saying they will provide any medical evidence i need and thats it, so who the hell can help me

  22. Andrew68 says:

    I suffer social phobia and anxiety. I was aked to attend an assement (at a weeks notice,) but obviously I am unable to travel, as I have no support to help get me there. I asked my Doctor for the FME fax that ESA requested but have had to pay £15 for the privilege, and was told that it may not be done before my GP is on leave for 2 weeks. Needless to say this has ignited my anxiety.

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