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BMA must condemn work assessments

As frontline doctors, we share the view of many sick and/or disabled people that the BMA leadership has failed to give any effect to the unanimous wishes of its members: that the work capability assessment be scrapped immediately.

It is unsafe, causes avoidable harm, lacks meaningful risk assessment and has no formal reporting mechanism for adverse events such as suicide.

According to the GMC’s Good Medical Practice, a doctor must take prompt action if patient safety is being compromised.

Employment support allowance exceptional circumstances regulations 25 and 31 are a way of highlighting substantial risk of harm to claimants, yet despite this, most GPs are unaware of them.

We call on the BMA to publicise the lawful application of these regulations in order to prevent further avoidable harm. Failure to do so would in our opinion amount to negligence.

From Dr Stephen Carty, Edinburgh, and 17 GP co-signatories