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TOPIC: Problems with GP

Problems with GP 6 years 5 days ago #68498

  • Bruce Robinson
I am currently being reassessed to move from IB to ESA. I have MS and a few other bits and pieces.

When I received the initial notification of my assessment, I made an appointment to see my GP, explained my situation, asked him to write a letter of support and was half way through explaining my symptoms (as recommended) when he interrupted me. He said that no letter was necessary as the DWP would contact him directly and send him the forms which he would fill in and that all the information he needed would be on my records (which I doubt - my MS has been pretty stable so I don't raise it much). As I wasn't entirely sure of my ground (do the DWP send GPs questionnaires?), I decided to leave it at that point though I knew I needed a letter.

I was angry but not surprised as I have always thought he was rather lazy. I have been with him since he joined the surgery about a year ago after I left another doctor there after a rather serious non-diagnosis.

My plan now is to write to him quoting the letter that came with my ESA50 regarding supporting evidence and detailing my symptoms at length (as I am also planning to do with my consultant neurologist). However I read somewhere (here?) that written prompting of doctors is not advised as it may discredit their evidence if it goes to appeal. But I feel there is no alternative.

The only one I can think of is to find a new GP (which I have thought of doing for a while) but that's probably n ot advisable at this stage in the process as a new GP would know even less about me.

Any thoughts?

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Re:Problems with GP 6 years 5 days ago #68503

Bruce Robinson wrote:

I am currently being reassessed to move from IB to ESA. I have MS and a few other bits and pieces.

When I received the initial notification of my assessment, I made an appointment to see my GP, explained my situation, asked him to write a letter of support and was half way through explaining my symptoms (as recommended) when he interrupted me. He said that no letter was necessary as the DWP would contact him directly and send him the forms which he would fill in and that all the information he needed would be on my records (which I doubt - my MS has been pretty stable so I don't raise it much). As I wasn't entirely sure of my ground (do the DWP send GPs questionnaires?), I decided to leave it at that point though I knew I needed a letter.

I was angry but not surprised as I have always thought he was rather lazy. I have been with him since he joined the surgery about a year ago after I left another doctor there after a rather serious non-diagnosis.

My plan now is to write to him quoting the letter that came with my ESA50 regarding supporting evidence and detailing my symptoms at length (as I am also planning to do with my consultant neurologist). However I read somewhere (here?) that written prompting of doctors is not advised as it may discredit their evidence if it goes to appeal. But I feel there is no alternative.

The only one I can think of is to find a new GP (which I have thought of doing for a while) but that's probably n ot advisable at this stage in the process as a new GP would know even less about me.

Any thoughts?


Hi BR,

I have noted that quite a lot of people are getting a similar response from their G.P.'s.

A friend had to practically put the G.P.'s arm up his back, in a 45 minute game of verbal ping pong.

In the end the friend put the G.P. on the spot by saying that she would take the refusal of support as an inference that the G.P. considered her fit to work.

The G.P. surprisingly provided a two page letter, which was quite informative.

Are you aware that you can gain copy of your medical records from your G.P., there will be a fee, we have seen charges between £20 to £50 for this.

Or you should be able to make an appointment to view your files, and then request photocopies of relevant extracts.

This may work out cheaper.

You can also request that your Consultant copies you in on any post consultation letters to your G.P., this is free of charge.

Also as you are being migrated, this is classed as a supersession, and therefore the burden of proof is on the DM to show why you don't qualify for an award of ESA.

Make sure that you make a written formal request to the DM to obtain evidence from any of the HCP's who treat you.

As for making written request for letters of support, it will not necessarily discredit any such letter.

However be careful not to lead to much, as if any such letter is used as evidence in an appeal etc, they may also request a copy of your letter of request before taking the letter of support as evidence.

My daughter made some notes re : ESA and relevant descriptors etc, which I discussed with my consultant, he did not keep copy of my notes, therefore it could not be classed as a written request.

If you really think that your G.P. is not going to support you, it may be worth seeing another G.P. in the practice, that is up to you though.

Hope this helps.

bro58

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Nothing on this board constitutes legal advice - always consult a professional about specific problems

Re:Problems with GP 6 years 5 days ago #68504

Hi again BR,

See also the link below re filling out medical reports. :

www.dwp.gov.uk/docs/medical-reports-completion.pdf

And this link re ESA113 completion. :

www.dwp.gov.uk/healthcare-professional/guidance/


cheers

bro58

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Re:Problems with GP 6 years 5 days ago #68518

  • peterjclive
hi I would make another appointment with your GP and explain to him that you have many problems caused by your MS which you have not been to see him about and that is why you would like a further letter of support .otherwise you will need to see him on a regular basis at least once a week which would make your codition worse and create more work for him.If he is not willing to co-operate tell him you are going to speak to a senior partner and the practice manager kind regards peter

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Re:Problems with GP 6 years 5 days ago #68520

  • Mrs Hurtyback
  • Away
  • Posts: 9208
I currently work for/with a group of GPs (until Oct 20th, after which I am jobless due to continued ill-health), they also are very reluctant to write a report for the patient and say that they will wait until the DWP approach them.This is for the following reasons -

This is not a core NHS service and takes up a lot of time that could be used actually attending to patients. It is not just the DWP, GPs will be asked to write letters to all sorts of people - ie schools, exam boards, employers, local council, insurance providers.

As this is not a core service, it can attract a charge but many GPs feel that this should be paid by the people requesting the information, rather than the patient.

Many people would prefer to answer specific questions rather than write an open letter. One could spend quite a time writing a letter and still not have given the information that is actually required.

I suspect the GPs hope that the DWP will not actually boher to contact them, thus freeing up a bit of extra time.

I don't think this should always be viewed as laziness or lack of care by the GP - even after 30 years in general practice I knew little about the working of the DWP. I have learned far more in the, comparatively, short time that I have been unwell than most GPs will ever know!

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Re:Problems with GP 6 years 5 days ago #68522

  • Bruce Robinson
Hi Bro58,

Thanks for your replies and suggestions.

I think what I will do is write a fairly detailed letter and ask for some rapid indication of what he intends to do - whether he will write me a letter or not. If not, I will continue badgering and see him again. I will also inquire about seeing my records.

I am still unclear about whether the DWP will contact my GP and what for. Presumably having been on IB for a long period they don't need a medical certificate (I love the Orwellian term 'fit note'). Otherwise the information for doctors states "GPs may also be asked to complete form ESA113 for patients with a severe disability, who might be entitled to benefit without the need for a face-to-face assessment." I doubt this applies to me. Are there other circumstances in which they might contact my GP? It'd be useful to know so I don't get told again that "Thery'll send me the forms".

Thanks.

Bruce

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