GPs as certifying medical practitioners have a statutory obligation to provide statements of incapacity to patients on their list and certain information to a healthcare professional working for Atos Healthcare, on behalf of the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) when requested.
However under GPs NHS contract there is no requirement for GPs to provide reports or offer an opinion on incapacity for work to anyone else, unless requested to do so by Job Centre Plus.
Patients who are claimants should contact Job Centre Plus or the Appeals Service, where appropriate, if they think that further medical evidence is necessary to support their claim or appeal.
Patients should state clearly their reasons for believing that further evidence is necessary. If Job Centre Plus or the Appeals Service considers that further medical evidence is necessary, they will seek it.
Job Centre Plus or the Appeals Service will be responsible for paying any fee to the doctor providing the report.
NHS GP’s are under no obligation to provide such evidence to their patients or to provide it free of charge.
Drs Sword and Chen