New agency should take over GPs’ role of certifying long term illness, review concludes

BMJ 2011; 343 doi: (Published 23 November 2011) Cite this as: BMJ 2011;343:d7594
  1. Ingrid Torjesen
  1. 1London

GPs in England should be stripped of much of their responsibility for deciding whether people with long term illness are fit and able to work, recommends a review commissioned by the government.

The Independent Review of Sickness Absence says that the current system pushes people away from work and provides little support for them to return. It recommends that a new government funded Independent Assessment Service should be responsible for signing off people for long term sick leave rather than their own GP.

People could be referred to the service by their employer or GP after they have been off work for four weeks, and health professionals would assess their physical or mental function and advise on how they could be helped to return to work.

The …

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