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16 January 2007

A pilot project is beginning in Scotland which allows GPs to provide evidence relating to their patients DLA and AA claims electronically. The intention is to speed up the processing of claims where additional evidence is required.

The initial 3 month pilot is taking place in 344 GP practices in Glasgow, Lanarkshire, Lothian and the Forth Valley. If this is considered a success the pilot will b e extended for further three months. Ministers will then consider extending the process to other benefits across the whole of Scotland.

For claimants, however, the big question is not whether electronic GP factual reports will speed up the claims process, but whether they will result in GPs providing more accurate evidence.