Practice Observed

Giving advice about welfare benefits in general practice

Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1985; 290 doi: (Published 16 February 1985) Cite this as: Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1985;290:519
  1. Brian Jarman


    Many people do not receive the full state welfare benefits to which they are entitled. Roughly two thirds of the population consult their general practitioners at least once a year. General practitioners and community nurses are exceptionally well placed to detect those who are suffering genuine financial hardship but they are not well equipped to give advice about the complex system of state social security benifits. Imparting such advice in suitable cases, particularly where the lack of it is detrimental to health, might be regarded as a proper function of general practitioners and health centres. A method of providing such advice in a health centre with the help of a computer is described.