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GPs told ‘say no’ to benefit requests

30 August 2013

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LMC leaders are planning a campaign to encourage GPs to ‘just say no’ to patient benefit requests.

The campaign would be designed to back GPs who turn down requests for medical reports from benefit claimants. 

It could also be widened to other areas of unfunded workload, including requests from hospitals and other parts of the NHS and social care. 

A template letter sent to practices in Lancashire and Cumbria advises patients to contact Jobcentre Plus or their appeals service if they need further medical evidence, and allow them to contact their GP if more information is needed. 

The letter said: “Your GP is very busy seeing patients and unfortunately does not have the time available to complete such reports. 

“Your GP is entitled to charge you for such a report and would not want to burden you with extra costs when they are not necessary.” 

Lancashire Coastal LMC chair Dr Stephen Hardwick, who helped write the letter, said: “GPs are increasingly pressurised, their daily job is harder. We’re monitored more closely through QOF, our prescribing more closely followed. We’re also having to mop up from other NHS and social care problems”