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Views And Reviews Primary Colour

Helen Salisbury: Doctors’ duties in a fractured welfare state

BMJ 2019; 365 doi: (Published 18 June 2019) Cite this as: BMJ 2019;365:l4209
  1. Helen Salisbury, GP
  1. Oxford
  1. helen.salisbury{at}
    Follow Helen on Twitter: @HelenRSalisbury

Like many other GPs around the country, I’m spending more and more time writing medical reports to appeal on behalf of patients who have been refused welfare benefit payments. Welfare is a right: we have a welfare state we all pay into through taxation, and we rely on it when we are sick or become unable to work. It’s a mark of a humane society that we look after each other in this way.

The main grounds for refusing incapacity benefit is that the person has been found fit to work by someone at an outsourced assessment company. Many of my …

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