GPs should not sign employees off sick

GPs should not be able to sign their patients off sick, instead they should have to come under the scrutiny of an independent assessment service, a government-backed review has said

It is estimated that around 300,000 people are absent from work each year due to long-term sickness. It is hoped that the new changes would send 20 per cent of these people back to work.

The current system, where people have to visit their GP to be signed off sick, is not working.

Professor Carol Black, said, ‘What the GPs say is that they don’t have time to do an in-depth functional assessment and nor have they had any training on occupational health so we think it’s providing a new unique service that both employers and GPs need.’

The changes hope to save the taxpayer £350m each year, while helping people who are on long-term sick to get back to work.

David Frost, the former head of the British Chambers of Commerce, said ‘You start to loose the will to work and what we’ve got to do is to find a way of actually working with them, encouraging them and providing real, practical help. And that’s what the assessment service will do.’


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