So your GP will be paid to not handout sick note


D

Derek Hornby

The Sunday Times 22 January 2006
Doctors set to get bonuses if they cut sicknotes.
By Robert Winnett, Whitehall Correspondent

DOCTORS are to be offered financial incentives to curb "sicknote
Britain" by forcing people on benefits back to work. Under plans to
be unveiled by ministers this week, employment advisers are to be
stationed in GPs' surgeries and medical assessments will be revised
to make it more difficult for doctors to sign people off as long-term sick.

A "national education programme" for GPs will also be launched.
Ministers then hope to introduce targets and financial incentives -
after consultation with medical bodies - to ensure that GPs abide by
the new rules and cut the burgeoning cost of incapacity benefit.

The crackdown will be unveiled in a green paper on welfare reform to
be delivered this week by John Hutton, the work and pensions
minister. The proposal is expected to pass into law by the autumn.

More than 2.7m people claim incapacity benefit at a cost of 12.5 billion
pounds a year. The claimant count outstrips the combined number
of single parents and unemployed people on benefits. Incapacity
benefit starts at £57.65 a week and rises t o £76.45 after a year.

Tony Blair wants to cut the cost of incapacity benefit and reduce the
number of claimants by 1m in 10 years. But many of his most radical
proposals - including means-testing payouts - are understood to have
been abandoned over fears of a backbench rebellion.

A Whitehall source said yesterday: "We are looking at how GPs can get
more people back to work rather than signing them off sick. We are
also looking at the role incentives can play.

"We want to get the process right first so doctors can direct people
back to the workforce before the system of incentives for GPs is put
in place."

This week Hutton will announce a pilot scheme to place advisers in GP surgeries.

Those claiming long-term sickness will be assessed to:
see what work they are capable of doing before being allowed to claim
incapacity benefit.

At present doctors simply have to assess how claimants perform in
basic tests. For example, the physically disabled are tested to see
if they can walk, bend or kneel; those with mental disorders for
their ability to relate to others and to "cope with pressure".

This system is now regarded as too crude - for example, it
automatically entitles all blind people to benefits - and a more
sophisticated medical assessment is proposed.

Under current rules, payments also increase after six months and
again after a year, discouraging people from returning to work. Blair
is understood to favour reducing incapacity benefit by up to 25%, to
match the Pounds 56.20 weekly jobseekers' allowance

"The process will be transformed," said the source. "The focus will
be on people's ability to work rather than what tasks they can't perform."

The government also wants to give employers incentives to encourage
them to be more flexible in dealing with sick staff and to promote
good health within the workforce. Ministers have held talks with the
insurance industry to cut premiums for firms with low levels of
long-term absence.

The British Medical Association said that GPs' integrity could be
compromised by the proposals. Hamish Meldrum, chairman of the BMA's
GP committee, said: "Our first duty is to the patient. Doctors are
advocates for the patients, not policemen for the Department for Work
and Pensions."

Since the 1980s the number of incapacity benefit claimants has soared
five fold.

Hutton admitted this month that benefit had been used to hide the
true level of unemployment.
 
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M

Martin Davies

Derek said:
The Sunday Times 22 January 2006
Doctors set to get bonuses if they cut sicknotes.
By Robert Winnett, Whitehall Correspondent

DOCTORS are to be offered financial incentives to curb "sicknote
Britain" by forcing people on benefits back to work. Under plans to
be unveiled by ministers this week, employment advisers are to be
stationed in GPs' surgeries and medical assessments will be revised
to make it more difficult for doctors to sign people off as long-term
sick.

A "national education programme" for GPs will also be launched.
Ministers then hope to introduce targets and financial incentives -
after consultation with medical bodies - to ensure that GPs abide by
the new rules and cut the burgeoning cost of incapacity benefit.

The crackdown will be unveiled in a green paper on welfare reform to
be delivered this week by John Hutton, the work and pensions
minister. The proposal is expected to pass into law by the autumn.

More than 2.7m people claim incapacity benefit at a cost of 12.5
billion
pounds a year. The claimant count outstrips the combined number
of single parents and unemployed people on benefits. Incapacity
benefit starts at £57.65 a week and rises t o £76.45 after a year.

Tony Blair wants to cut the cost of incapacity benefit and reduce the
number of claimants by 1m in 10 years. But many of his most radical
proposals - including means-testing payouts - are understood to have
been abandoned over fears of a backbench rebellion.

A Whitehall source said yesterday: "We are looking at how GPs can get
more people back to work rather than signing them off sick. We are
also looking at the role incentives can play.

"We want to get the process right first so doctors can direct people
back to the workforce before the system of incentives for GPs is put
in place."

This week Hutton will announce a pilot scheme to place advisers in GP
surgeries.

Those claiming long-term sickness will be assessed to:
see what work they are capable of doing before being allowed to claim
incapacity benefit.

At present doctors simply have to assess how claimants perform in
basic tests. For example, the physically disabled are tested to see
if they can walk, bend or kneel; those with mental disorders for
their ability to relate to others and to "cope with pressure".

This system is now regarded as too crude - for example, it
automatically entitles all blind people to benefits - and a more
sophisticated medical assessment is proposed.

Under current rules, payments also increase after six months and
again after a year, discouraging people from returning to work. Blair
is understood to favour reducing incapacity benefit by up to 25%, to
match the Pounds 56.20 weekly jobseekers' allowance

"The process will be transformed," said the source. "The focus will
be on people's ability to work rather than what tasks they can't
perform."

The government also wants to give employers incentives to encourage
them to be more flexible in dealing with sick staff and to promote
good health within the workforce. Ministers have held talks with the
insurance industry to cut premiums for firms with low levels of
long-term absence.

The British Medical Association said that GPs' integrity could be
compromised by the proposals. Hamish Meldrum, chairman of the BMA's
GP committee, said: "Our first duty is to the patient. Doctors are
advocates for the patients, not policemen for the Department for Work
and Pensions."

Since the 1980s the number of incapacity benefit claimants has soared
five fold.

Hutton admitted this month that benefit had been used to hide the
true level of unemployment.
Almost unbelievable.
Sadly, once the green paper comes out, many won't respond.
Then complain for years later about the benefit system.

The idea that employers should be given incentives to encourage good health
in the workforce is laughable.

Martin <><
 
O

oscaretta*the*cat

Martin Davies said:
Almost unbelievable.
Sadly, once the green paper comes out, many won't respond.
Then complain for years later about the benefit system.

The idea that employers should be given incentives to encourage good
health in the workforce is laughable.
This is certainly going to be interesting reading on Tuesday! I've heard
this idea before, it's hard enough to get any kind of help out of a GP (from
personal experience) now people will be referred to the *in house* DWP
advisor?

Can they also reduce IB? Surely if they have said you need x amount of money
to live on, they can't then cut that?

Regards Group
 
M

Martin Davies

oscaretta*the*cat said:
This is certainly going to be interesting reading on Tuesday! I've
heard this idea before, it's hard enough to get any kind of help out
of a GP (from personal experience) now people will be referred to the
*in house* DWP advisor?

Can they also reduce IB? Surely if they have said you need x amount
of money to live on, they can't then cut that?

Regards Group
Funny really, the x amount of money to live on is not the IB benefit rate.
No idea why IB claimants get so much - and I'm an IB claimant myself. Can't
be the prescription charges (not all IB claimants have to pay).

Martin <><
 
O

oscaretta*the*cat

Martin Davies said:
Funny really, the x amount of money to live on is not the IB benefit rate.
No idea why IB claimants get so much - and I'm an IB claimant myself.
Can't be the prescription charges (not all IB claimants have to pay).
Couldn't answer that one.

I am also wondering how ethical it will be for GP's to receive financial
incentives for this approach to patients not fit for work????

I claim myself and am genuinely ill, yet feel despair when I read these
ideas.
 
F

Flying Rat

oscaretta*the*cat said:
I claim myself and am genuinely ill, yet feel despair when I read these
ideas.
I certainly don't like the ideas being floated about just how stringent
this scheme will be.

For example, they will only consider higher rate DLA care component
recipients as being too disabled to bother. What a load of shit. So
people who have often fought appeals and been granted middle or lower
rate care will now face another battle to keep it? Especially those who
were given lifetime/open awards (another sneaky change) because in the
opinion of the assessor or tribunal they will never recover from their
condition? For the love of God, DLA itself should be a clue for them.

I for one had to fight the DSS for almost 2 years, and eventually won my
award after reviews and a tribunal. Now I may be at the whim of some
assessor who got a fortnight course, who can declare me as fit to
operate a lift or something. Well thanks, New Labour.

Now I'm glad I saved my money and ripped up my membership card. Phony
Tony can schmooze all he wants with his pals like Branson, who shelters
his money in offshore accounts, he won't be getting my few quid
membership subs ever again. Squeezing cripples isn't what I joined
Labour for.

FR

(very pissed off as you can tell)
 
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M

Martin Davies

oscaretta*the*cat said:
Couldn't answer that one.

I am also wondering how ethical it will be for GP's to receive
financial incentives for this approach to patients not fit for
work????
I claim myself and am genuinely ill, yet feel despair when I read
these ideas.
Thats the rub isn't it? Someone deciding that the patient isn't genuinely
that ill. A lot of diagnosis or avenues to explore for treatment come not
from testing, but from the patient themselves.
You tell the doctor where the pain is, you tell the doctor what has happened
or how your systems have been coping.
Though to then have the doctor decide you aren't as ill as you say.......

Rather a radical position for doctors to take, when they tend to be pretty
conservative. Greed though is a mighty mover of men.

Martin <><
 
O

oscaretta*the*cat

Martin Davies said:
Thats the rub isn't it? Someone deciding that the patient isn't genuinely
that ill. A lot of diagnosis or avenues to explore for treatment come not
from testing, but from the patient themselves.
You tell the doctor where the pain is, you tell the doctor what has
happened or how your systems have been coping.
Though to then have the doctor decide you aren't as ill as you say.......

Rather a radical position for doctors to take, when they tend to be pretty
conservative. Greed though is a mighty mover of men.
I would be surprised if Doctors took up with this idea. Try reading the
'have your say' on the BBC site, some Doctors have already posted with
regards to this idea.

To be honest, it sounds again like a load of rehashed hot air, do these
things get churned out every two years or so? How to lose a few more voters
in one easy sweep.
 
O

oscaretta*the*cat

Flying Rat said:
I certainly don't like the ideas being floated about just how stringent
this scheme will be.

For example, they will only consider higher rate DLA care component
recipients as being too disabled to bother. What a load of shit. So
people who have often fought appeals and been granted middle or lower
rate care will now face another battle to keep it? Especially those who
were given lifetime/open awards (another sneaky change) because in the
opinion of the assessor or tribunal they will never recover from their
condition? For the love of God, DLA itself should be a clue for them.

I for one had to fight the DSS for almost 2 years, and eventually won my
award after reviews and a tribunal. Now I may be at the whim of some
assessor who got a fortnight course, who can declare me as fit to
operate a lift or something. Well thanks, New Labour.

Now I'm glad I saved my money and ripped up my membership card. Phony
Tony can schmooze all he wants with his pals like Branson, who shelters
his money in offshore accounts, he won't be getting my few quid
membership subs ever again. Squeezing cripples isn't what I joined
Labour for.

FR

(very pissed off as you can tell)
I don't blame you for being pissed off :(

Yup, went through a tribunal too a few years ago, so don't trust anything
the DHSS say.

New Labour = Old Tory.
 
R

Robbie

Martin said:
Funny really, the x amount of money to live on is not the IB benefit rate.
No idea why IB claimants get so much - and I'm an IB claimant myself. Can't
be the prescription charges (not all IB claimants have to pay).

Martin <><
The higher rate for IB is a throw back to the introduction of Invalidity
Benefit in 1971. Prior to that, the only benefits available for the sick
and disabled were Sickness Benefit and Supplementary Benefit. The latter
was means tested and included a rate for claimants who had been on
benefit for 2 years (except the unemployed). SB was paid at a higher
rate in the short term (6 months) based on an earnings related basis, as
was Unemployment Benefit. It meant many people received a drop in
benefit after 6 months, despite still being sick and hence often fell
into poverty. IVB was introduced to address the poverty caused by
long-term illness and to help avoid over-reliance on Supp Ben (NI
benefits were usually paid at a higher rate than Supp Ben back then).
Long-term meant 6 months back then, meaning someone received SB plus any
earnings related supplement for the first 6 months and then Invalidity
benefit, which was paid at the NI pension rate, plus additional extras
based on age. From 1978 an additional amount based on payments to the
SERPS scheme was introduced.

When SB and IVB were abolished in 1995, Incapacity Benefit was
introduced as a three tier benefit, a short term rate similar to
Sickness Benefit, with a second rate after 6 months and finally the
highest (long-term) rate after a year. Age allowances were simplified
and earnings related payments (already abolished for Sickness Benefit in
1982) based on SERPS payments, which had already been limited in 1992
were abolished altogether.

Robbie
 
M

Martin Davies

The higher rate for IB is a throw back to the introduction of
Invalidity Benefit in 1971. Prior to that, the only benefits
available for the sick and disabled were Sickness Benefit and
Supplementary Benefit. The latter was means tested and included a
rate for claimants who had been on benefit for 2 years (except the
unemployed). SB was paid at a higher rate in the short term (6
months) based on an earnings related basis, as was Unemployment
Benefit. It meant many people received a drop in benefit after 6
months, despite still being sick and hence often fell into poverty.
IVB was introduced to address the poverty caused by long-term illness
and to help avoid over-reliance on Supp Ben (NI benefits were usually
paid at a higher rate than Supp Ben back then). Long-term meant 6
months back then, meaning someone received SB plus any earnings
related supplement for the first 6 months and then Invalidity
benefit, which was paid at the NI pension rate, plus additional
extras based on age. From 1978 an additional amount based on payments
to the SERPS scheme was introduced.
When SB and IVB were abolished in 1995, Incapacity Benefit was
introduced as a three tier benefit, a short term rate similar to
Sickness Benefit, with a second rate after 6 months and finally the
highest (long-term) rate after a year. Age allowances were simplified
and earnings related payments (already abolished for Sickness Benefit
in 1982) based on SERPS payments, which had already been limited in
1992 were abolished altogether.

Robbie
Thanks Robbie.

Martin <><
 
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D

Derek Hornby

Oscar*the*cat said:
I am also wondering how ethical it will be for GP's to receive financial
incentives for this approach to patients not fit for work????
And how will it work?
I mean say you go to GP ona Monday, and he won't give a sick note.
So, if you then go back next day, and he won't give sick
note. Will the GP receive even more money, ie so much fro every
time he won't give sick note.
I can see this could be an easy way a dishonest GP to make lot of money!

Would it not be far better if job centre staff were paid
commission. Say £5 for every job they successfully arrange for a client.
Derek
 
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D

Derek Hornby

Flying Rat said:
For example, they will only consider higher rate DLA care component
recipients as being too disabled to bother. What a load of shit. So
people who have often fought appeals and been granted middle or lower
rate care will now face another battle to keep it? Especially those who
were given lifetime/open awards (another sneaky change) because in the
opinion of the assessor or tribunal they will never recover from their
condition? For the love of God, DLA itself should be a clue for them.
But you forfet the law makers are sometimes clueless!

WE have people that want to work, but can't unless they get the
support they need.

But hang on, if the new policy is aimed to save money,
surly it would cost the state more, not less, if they force people
into jobs they can't do without support.
So what's the answer.
Derek
 

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