GPs may be stripped of responsibility to sign off long-term sick patients

GPs should be stripped of their responsibility to sign off patients on long-term sick, a government-commissioned review is set to recommend.

Dame Carol: advisory service would give GPs and employers ‘more certainty’ about those who are signed off work
A review on long-term sickness absence, which is expected later today, will advise that an independent advisory services should instead decide whether a person should be signed off work.  

Review lead Professor Dame Carol Black told the BBC that an advisory service would give GPs and employers ‘more certainty’ about those who are signed off work.

She said: ‘GPs tell us that they don’t have time to do an in-depth functional assessment and nor do have they had any training in occupational health.

‘GPs would willingly refer patients for specialist cardiology opinion... we think this new service is providing our GPs with a new specialised service that related to function and getting someone back to work.’

A spokeswoman for the Department for Work and Pensions said the review would be out later today.

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