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GPs condemned the unfairness of the work capability assessment in an article in the current edition of Pulse magazine. However, the text was undermined by prejudiced and scornful comments about claimants left by GPs in comments below the line.

In an article entitled ‘How the benefits clampdown is undermining the GP’s role’ Pulse reveals that over half of 645 GPs responding to a Pulse survey last year said that patients had been refused welfare benefits even though their GP thought they were unable to work.

One GP interviewed by Pulse said ‘I've got patients with Parkinson's disease who can't speak and rely on carers for feeding being told they're fit for work.”

Another GP told the magazine: ‘The Government is using assessments as though there is some sort of objective way to assess these things. I usually tell patients the whole set-up is geared to be superficial, to make them fail. But I say, if you persevere, you will most likely win.’

Yet while the article itself was strongly critical of the DWP and supportive of claimants, GPs commenting below the line were overwhelmingly hostile.

In order to comment, readers need to be registered with the site and provide a valid GMC number, so it is very likely the comments are from genuine GPs.

Some of the comments are just plain offensive: ‘The vast majority on benefits are work shy. Just reinforces the international impression of Brits as lazy slobs.’

Others are more moderate but still question the honesty of many of their patients: ‘In my experience most sick note requests are very questionable but we are pressured into them due to the dr patient relationships and keeping patients happy.’

One GP bemoans the fact that they can’t “tip-off” the DWP any more: ‘Yes there are a few patients who are very deserving and do not qualify for the benefits but the few are very heavily outweighed by the many who would be perfectly able to work but choose not to. As the patients gp it is difficult to refuse when people ask for a sick note particularly as there is no longer an option to 'tip off' the dss that you believe the patient is 'pulling a fast one' without the patient finding out.’

Another seems to despise many of their patients: ‘The public gets what the public wants. And that’s a video based app to issue prescriptions, fit notes, and referral requests, all in the palm of your hand in front of I’m A Celebrity. Get out as soon as you can.’

Many claimants will no doubt hope that this GP, and many others commenting on the article, follow their own advice and get out soon.

You can read the full article on the Pulse website


#8 me-myself 2019-12-17 16:07
Have just read the article and many offensive comments...
98% GP's do not want to know how your illness affects you and when they write their nots in your record they are often (as I found out) little to do with what you told them.
I have used templates from this site and given them to GP's only to find they were ignored and not added to my notes!!!!
One GP told me 'I don't believe in mental health, it's all bogus nonsense', another told me he had gone through my records and can confirm I had never been on the drug he was offering, started to argue with me, was about to have me thrown out until I pulled out a copy of my medical records detailing that I had, used that drug before and i had a reaction to it...
One Specialist told the DWP, that my mother (who he hadn't seen for 3 years as we moved out the area then back and had not seen her latest medical reports) said 'No mobility issues, can walk without issue of any kind', despite her being now in a wheelchair, needing oxygen to breath and unable to transfer without assistance!!!

No the majority of GP's are just like the present government and hate those on benefits... and it's the GP's who should be the ones who do capability assessments as part of what they do and well recorded within your records.
Love the NHS but not the judgemental hypocrites within it
#7 simon1160 2019-12-16 21:24
In my recent application process for PIP my GP's were completely useless I got about 5 lines of comment from them to support my application,and no comment whatsoever on the mental health issues I have had for 50 years. I hate going there now I don't know why they are doctors , must be the money.
#6 simon1160 2019-12-16 21:22
you can read the article and original comments here , and even better you can submit a complaint on the comments , perhaps if they get a few hundred complaints from us lot at least they might inform the GP how he is bening received.
+1 #5 donald king 2019-12-11 23:37
It was only when I was appealing against my loss of ESA that I had to resume getting 'fit notes' from my surgery. Someone who has been ill for a long period of time no longer needs to keep getting fit notes at all. I presume that someone who has only been 'off work' for six or nine months has to provide them anyway. I help a friend of mine who is 43 with paranoid schizophrenia and has been since he was 18. I don't think he's had a 'sick note' from a GP since he was a teenager. He was moved from DLA to PIP without having to go to a face to face assessment (although they tried to make him!)

One of the problems with some surgery practices is that the family doctor (who may have been your parents' doctor as well as your own) retires - and you often don't know the person who you are allocated to see from month to month. IF THE DOCTOR SEEMS NOT TO CARE LESS (AND HAS NO INTEREST IN MENTAL ILLNESS) YOU MUST MAKE AN OFFICIAL COMPLAINT. When I got a letter informing me that I was 'fit for work' in 2017 I phoned 999 in tears - the police came along and waited with me until a mental health professional (a real one, not the 'occupational physiotherapist ' who assessed me incorrectly) arrived. I broke down again when I went to see my GP the same day, and she was on the verge of sending me to a mental health unit. It took a few days of diazepan to help him calm down & keep out of hospital.

I am 59, and am still terrified of each & every letter I ever receive from DWP. I worry about it virtually every day.
#4 J330MSD 2019-12-11 15:59
There are genuine people out there who deserve to claim FULL mobility, however just because your grossly Over weight, you will no longer be considered Unfit or Sick.
It is a factor now and fast becoming Unmanageable within the NHS.
GP's are under pressure from all angles and have access to our medical history, If this is consulted then a fair idea of our health should be obtained.
+2 #3 me-myself 2019-12-11 14:23
Most GP’s these days are not fit for purpose and not as well trained as people think they are, as one Hospital Doctor told me ‘in many ways the equivalent to a senior ward manager/sister, not full Doctor’’… GP’s notes are a JOKE! Most people would be horrified to see how what they record differs from what you tell them.
I lost 3 close relative due to this cruddy ‘lazy slob’ attitude,
Your records fall into 2 distinct categories: Active (what you suffer and treated for now) & Significant past (not being treated for or suffering from)… You can drop from 1 to the other if;
1) You don’t mention it to your GP every time you see them (so if you have multiple conditions but only mention 1 that’s all that will be recorded, so even if they give you medication form the other, it can drop to ‘the 2nd category).
2) You more from 1 surgery to another, after finding that on 1 day 5 conditions all ended on exactly the same day (no longer active) The new surgery manager explained ‘[‘when records are received from another surgery, we still have to manually input them and its common for conditions to be ‘miss-coded’ so active becomes past!’’. It took 3 years get my records put right.
Every patient needs a copy of their records and they need updating every 6 months, because the discrepancies are too much, to damaging, as a result of the lack of information inputted into records, Every patient when seeing their GP needs to hand them letter Covering ALL your conditions, how each one is presently affecting you, and the prime reason for the visit to the GP then have the letter entered into your records… a Good GP actually suggested
+6 #2 mrfibrospondodysthmatic 2019-12-09 21:23
Obviously these GP's are more likely conservatives, and are in league with the DWP.
+3 #1 Idonia 2019-12-07 11:24
I had a GP at my last surgery, which I'm no longer registered with, tell me in mid-2017 when I requested an identical copy of a letter of support for an ESA assessment (which had been provided to me by a different GP at the same surgery with no issues the year before) that I was 'perfectly capable' of working - this despite having my medical records open on the computer screen in front of them, showing a succession of hospital admissions and discharges over the prior fifteen years for both physical and mental health related reasons. The most recent had been only a few weeks prior to the appointment. I did manage to obtain the letter, but I left the surgery in tears. It's just not the way you expect a GP to behave.

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