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GPC warning on benefits reports

GPs should steer clear of doing incapacity benefit reports because of the high chance of a patient complaint, the GPC advises.

Responding to the recent Department of Work and Pensions Green Paper on incapacity benefit reform, GPC negotiators rejected the suggestion that GPs should be incentivised to write fewer sicknotes.

Dr Peter Holden, GPC negotiator, said the Government should concentrate on providing occupational health advice and workplace services.

Dr Holden said he had calculated the complaint rate for doctors doing incapacity benefit work had been 2,000 times as high as GPs who avoided it.

'The doctors were the piggy in the middle,' he said.

'It's one of the few areas for potential strife for doctors and patients. And it's worse in rural areas.'

The GPC will be submitting a response to the Green Paper.

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