The General Practice Committee (GPC) is seeking talks with the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) after GPs and LMC leaders raised a series of concerns with the tests and appeals process being used in the Government'​s drive to get patients off benefits.

The GPC said it was alarmed by the high success of appeals against original fitness to work judgements made under the work capability assessment, with private firm Atos charged with carrying out initial assessments. The DWP said that a quarter of people who have received work capability assessments to date have had appeals heard against rulings by Atos assessors. Of this quarter, 38% have had their fitness to work judgements overturned.

The GPC said it was particularly concerned over the length the latest DWP statistics show that an average appeal takes 24.6 weeks to be completed. The committee said it would be flagging up concerns over the levels of pay for doctors who sit on appeals panels, with concerns that the Government is ‘​significantly underpaying'​ GPs. Doctors are currently paid £​371 to sit on social security panels.

Full story on Pulse website


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