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Revalidation shake-up? There's no public crisis of confidence

Re: the letter from Dr R Yadava (February 5). Certification and its results are complex. The GP is providing a certificate for their patient's own occupation.

For the first six months the DWP assessment is based on the own occupation. But the referral from the DWP to Medical Services who undertake these examinations often do not occur before the six-month mark.

Once six months' sickness certification has elapsed, any examination is for the personal capability assessment (all work test). In this, the assessment is not restricted to just the patient's occupation, but 'any work'.

The assessments are often delayed by considerable periods. The quality of assessments undertaken by Medical Services is extremely variable. In addition, if disallowance of benefit occurs, the appeal system appears inconsistent and often at variance with evidence.

The DWP is trying to assess some of these issues. GPs have an ongoing relationship with their patients, and perhaps GPs should not be involved in sickness certification at all.

Dr HC Robinson

Castletown, Caithness

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