Exclusive article in Pulse Today, the e-magazine for health professionals:

Campaigners have dropped the threat of legal action against LMCs who advised GPs to refuse to provide patients with evidence to support their appeals against their benefits being cut.{jcomments on}

Pulse has learnt that the Black Triangle Campaign has decided not to pursue legal action and instead work with the BMA to provide GPs with better advice about how to deal with requests from patients who are facing having their benefits being withdrawn.

Lawyers representing the campaign group were examining 10 cases where individuals may have been disadvantaged or discriminated against by refusals from GPs to provide medical evidence for appeals.

In September Pulse revealed that disability campaign groups, Black Triangle and Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC), were considering legal action against LMCs for distributing template benefit request refusal letters, which it called ‘staggeringly ignorant’.

The template letters were a response to a 21% increase in requests for GPs to verify work capability since January 2013, after attempts to cut the welfare budget brought thousands of additional patients up for review.

Public Interest Lawyers had taken on the case on behalf of the Black Triangle Campaign, but this action has been stopped after meetings with the BMA last month.

Campaign leaders met with BMA representatives on 10 December, to discuss – among other things - how they could go about reducing the burden that requests for supporting evidence place on GPs, while still protecting those who could be harmed if found fit for work.

Source: Pulse Today


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