GPs should not be solely responsible for assessing entitlement to benefits, MPs say

BMJ 2014; 349 doi: (Published 23 July 2014) Cite this as: BMJ 2014;349:g4786
  1. Gareth Iacobucci
  1. 1The BMJ

MPs have urged the government to seek evidence from a wider range of professionals, including social workers and occupational therapists, when assessing people’s claims for disability and long term sickness benefits, in a bid to reduce the burden on GPs.

The recommendation was one of several measures proposed in a new report from the House of Commons Work and Pensions Committee,1 which concluded that the current assessment process for employment and support allowance (ESA) was “not achieving its aims” and required a “fundamental redesign.”

Nearly all GPs in a recent survey carried out by The BMJ2 said that their workload had soared in the past year because of government changes to the ESA. Doctors said that they were increasingly asked to provide medical information about patients undergoing tougher …

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