100,000 signatures reached
To: Thérèse Coffey, Secretary of State for the Department for Work and Pensions
Stop sending misleading letters to GPs
Stop sending letters telling doctors to withhold sick notes from the ill and disabled people seeking Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
Why is this important?
The department for work and pensions (DWP) are sending doctors misleading letters stating that their patients do not need a “fit note” anymore because they’ve been found fit for work. This letter will leave severely ill and disabled claimants unable to obtain Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) to which they are entitled pending appeal.
This threatens the doctor – patient relationship and puts patients at risk of damaging their health further and leaves them in serious financial difficulties.
Like thousands of others, Louis* was too ill to work and needed the vital income ESA provides – but his claim was refused. Louis was blocked from claiming ESA as he awaited his hearing, due to a misleading letter sent from the DWP to his doctor without Louis’ knowledge. Louis had to rely on food-bank vouchers, went into debt, accrued rent arrears and faced an increased risk of eviction. It took moving GPs and relying on new evidence from a clinical psychologist stating how his mental health would deteriorate further if he did not obtain the fit note, and therefore the benefits he needed to survive.
Louis is not alone. These letters are sent to the GP of every person after they have been refused ESA - before they've finished the appeal process. 88% of our clients win their appeal and are entitled to ESA again.
It is not for the DWP to interfere with the GP and their patient. Sign the petition today.