Headlines: October 25th, 1999

The Government has spelled out the help that GPs can give in cutting the benefits budget.And the DSS is hoping to encourage family doctors to change their approach to assessing patients.

Social Security Minister Hugh Bayley promises there’ll be benefits to both patients and the GP service as a result.

He told a doctors’ conference that the DSS currently spent as much on incapacity and disability benefits as the NHS does on in-patients – 25,000 million pounds a year.

The call is for doctors to work with the DSS to review the assessment process. The Government wants to keep more sick and disabled people working – and is offering to cut GP paperwork in return.

The DSS is also offering training on medical certification, extending the scope for the DSS to research and discuss GP work on medical certification and making possible changes to the Medical Evidence Regulations.