General practice could ask for funding from the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) to ensure patients go back to work quickly, a top NHS England official has suggested.
Professor Keith Willett, national director for acute episodes of care, said the NHS could ask the DWP for money to enable GPs to get people back to work quicker.
Addressing the annual conference of the out-of-hours provider body Urgent Health UK, Professor Willetts said getting a patient in to see a GP quickly and issued with a return to work certificate could save the government two weeks of benefits payments.
‘So, in the same way as health has given social care the Better Care Fund, and said "come and help us out", we could, arguably, go to work and pensions and say, "excuse me, we can get them to go back to work seven days quicker. Can we have some of your money to be able to do that?".'