Sick note refused under government new scheme. 

This is a true shocking account of a young persons visit to their G.P recently.  Sadly it’s true and I’m hoping that most G.Ps are refusing to implement this. 

I’m going to call this person X. It’s quite appropriate because that as I see it is how this government sees most vulnerable people in this country. This government has a great disdain for the poor, sick and vulnerable indeed I have been quoted in the past as saying that this is a war against the poor and those in need. This is another tactic that they want to employ. 

Many times now this Tory government has been quoted as saying that they they want to get rid of ‘the sick note culture’. They don’t want anyone off work. People are expected to quite literally work themselves to death. Getting a sick note is seen by the Tory party as ‘a conveyor belt to a life on benefits’. 

Indeed it is not. Most sick notes are obtained as a necessity to get over a bout of illness or to recover from an illness. Sick notes are no longer handed out like sweets at a sweet shop. It’s not easy getting one and you do have to be ill to get one. 

X attended the doctors on Friday. It was an emergency appointment. They were very anxious and depressed and wanted to take their own life. The doctor refused a sick note even though X was suicidal. Why? Because young people should be in work. The government wants you in work they quoted. X was very upset at this and it triggered another anxiety attack. They are now challenging this. I do hope this doctor is acting out of the ordinary. Being suicidal is a good enough reason for a sick note. 

This led me to undergo a bit more research. I have found out that the government have introduced a scheme where all GPs refer patients that have had a sick note for 4 weeks or more to a private company. Much like ATOS I suspect. 

This is supposed to be a trial but as with all government trials they quickly become permanent.

The new scheme will cost £134 million over 4 years and is aimed at people who are off work with long term illnesses. 

The new programme was piloted in 20 GP surgeries from February this year and will now be extended nationwide. Patients who agree yo be referred will undergo a telephone assessment of their physical and mental abilities from trained nurses and occupational therapists. It’s called the “fit for work service”. 

The British Medical association has said it will boycott the scheme if doctors felt it was forcing people back to work. Business leaders of course said it should be compulsory.

It’s wrong in my eyes that the sick are being targeted again like this. 

It’s also wrong that a young suicidal person was refused a sick note because “the government wants you to work” regardless of how sick and unable you are to do so.   

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60 thoughts on “Sick note refused under government new scheme. 

  1. I was one of these people who had to undergo a meeting after being off work due to spinal issues and no feeling in my legs , I then became very depressed and attempted suicide twice. The government sent my doctor a letter stating he no longer needed to send sick notes as I was deemed fit for work (they hadnt even met me at this point), my doctor carried on with my sick notes as he did not agree. I then had to see an occupational therapist and a psychiatrist just to claim my ESA. I have suffered with my back since 1986 but only got laid off due to illness in 2013, I have worked for 35 years non stop. I still only get a pittance but until i can get an operation I am stuck with my life of only being able to stand for very short periods and sitting for slightly longer before the pain becomes too excessive and I end up having to lay down. I still suffer massive deep depressions and dont leave my house more than once a week, Do people really think we choose this as a lifestyle?, it makes me sick.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. It’s disgusting that you and thousands like you get hounded like this. I remember the good old days when society actually looked after those who needed it. Then the Tories came back into town and have destroyed society as we know it. They’ve turned communities against each other and have made just trying to exist an art in itself.
      My thoughts go out to you and to the thousand upon thousands of people who are suffering like this. It can happen to anyone and we should all (if able) be raising our voices against this!

      Liked by 2 people

    2. I was with Charlotte and E when we met with x last week. We did what we could on the day and Charlotte and E since then to offer as much support as we can. For Russel, really what you have been through is unacceptable just appalling. We are fighting for ourselves and for you.

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    3. Russell I have the same though I was lukcy with my ESA decesion being overturned when it was re looked at but when I came to claim DLA it took nearly 2 years before it got to tribunal which I won but next November have to to it all again even though it says degenrative in my medical notes the whole system is unfair and unfit for purpose they cannot do no more medically for me so I am on strong painkillers 2 800mg tabs a day plus on a weekly morphine patch. Like you I to worked most of my life I am 56 now and its only been the last 3 years I’ve had problems Also suffer with derpression from constant pain and on medication for that to as well as high blood pressure this Government just don’t care they disgust me.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. The Fit For Work Program has been active for a while now.
    Here are the docs;
    https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/fit-for-work-guidance

    In the link above you can download the guidance’ for employers, employees and GP’s

    This is a link to the BMA guidance where they also list their concerns.

    http://bma.org.uk/support-at-work/gp-practices/fit-for-work-guidance

    This all appears to be following the same agenda, using their own adapted form of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (modification). Looks like Nudge Unit stuff to me. (Behavioural INSIGHTS Team)

    Your Doctor no longer has control over sick notes once 4 weeks are up.
    IN THE LITERATURE, IT SUGGESTS THAT EVEN EMPLOYERS CAN OVERRIDE A GP SICK NOTE AFTER THE 4 WEEK PERIOD.

    HOPE THIS HELPS…

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Maximus are infamous in the USA for refusing insurance claims for people with paid up private premiums, quoting a huge host of exceptions that they won’t pay out under. They are no better here, in my experience giving NIL points to people who are desperate/ desperately ill. Their nurses are paid £44,500 pa and the doctors they employ are paid £84,500 pa Treat them with the complete and utter contempt they treat us with, such as No I am not answering that as you will twist it and us it against me. You’re probably better off walking out in disgust, and then appealing on the basis of the hideous way they treat us at the WCAs. They are simply out to deny as many benefits as they possibly can.

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  4. It’s because of this type of thing happening to my own mother that I cannot bear the thought of even trying to get off work for anything I am suffering. I hate everything but having seen what they did and tried to do to my mum (and are still doing) I cannot submit myself to that.

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  5. i remember the days when, even if ill or disabled, you were applauded for at least trying.now you dare not even try in case they say if you can do it one day you can do it permanently.wrong. very wrong.in most cases of disability you have good and bad days. only on some of the good days can you do certain things n even then are limited.. just hope the UN conclude their investigations soon and find cameron,. IDS n Osbourne guilty. but even if they do what happens the
    n?

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  6. As a civil servant, having 8 days off sick in any 12 month period leads to disciplinary action…4 weeks is a luxury we can’t afford.

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  7. This is why i am in therapy managed to get some, It may help me but i am covering my back.. and my therapist seems to understand that all the things that pushed me to suicidal thoughts were external factors and “bad luck”. and the treatment by the dwp/job centre and others around me

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  8. I am not surprised at anything this Government does. I worked for many years for DWP and although I left to retire it was partly because I could no longer stand to operate legislation that was inherently unfair. Please don’t blame the staff at DWP they do their job in line with Government legislation and have no control over this. I have no time for the likes of ATOS although they work fro a drop down menu when assessing someone’s fitness for work. In my experience they then make up replies to questions if the drop down menu does not meet needs. I know of a number of cases where ATOS found people fit for some work who then died shortly after. Like all things there are a minority of benefit customers who stay on benefits because they don’t want to work but this does not apply to most of them.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Hi Charlotte,

    After reading Johnny Void’s blog on Fit Notes and the Government guidance, it looks like the DWP has indeed told GPs not to sign people off for work-induced stress and mental health conditions.

    Johnny quotes a ‘Case Study’ featuring that a woman who cannot face going into work due to a manager being horrible to her. The GP is advised not to issue a Fit Note as it is a management issue to talk about to HR or a union rep. I see that as forcing her back to an abusive, possibly illegal situation with no escape: for someone suffering a mental health condition such advice could be fatal.

    The DWP wants GPs to use the Work Capability Assessment definition of fitness for work: if you can get there and pick up a box it looks like you should not signed off as ‘Not fit for work’.

    I write this as a lone-working support worker who has talked himself into going on shift where I have sole control of large quantities of medication even though I didn’t completely trust myself to be around it. Months of irregular shift patterns, constant calls outside working hours and This is where the ‘Work at all costs, work is good for you’ mentality can lead.

    Since I’ve started talking things out with colleagues almost all of us end up there from time to time, yet now GPs are not supposed to let us take time out for the safety of ourselves, the vulnerable adults we work with or our loved ones. Dangerous and completely counterproductive: also known as par for the course these days.

    The JV article is here: https://johnnyvoid.wordpress.com/ and the DWP guidance with the quoted Case Study (p.17-18) here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/fit-note-guidance-for-gps#history

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  10. Just wondering why nurses are being used for call centre work when we have a nursing shortage in our hospitals? Surely having more nurses/doctors in hospitals would lead to faster appointments and treatment and better care resulting in more people getting better quicker and being fit for work in less time? Is this too logical for our government?

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  11. I went to the gp suicidal a while ago. Being for help with my pain or just for some one to recognise it. After being told is have to get used to it, given 100 Tramadol, I was sent on my way. If I hadn’t had a seizure in the middle of my overdose I might of actualy succeeded. The doctors are surprised at my suicide attempt. They don’t take Newbald health seriously. I don’t think they know how.

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  12. Don’t give up – keep fighting. As I understand it, there is some very good, fair, law underpinning the benefits system. But it appears that the Government is ignoring some of it; the DWP is not properly training its staff in what that law is; or are just completely ignoring it. For example the law states, unequivocally, that a person cannot be required to return to work if it may put their life at risk. However much the government may have dicked about with rules relating to sick-notes, this law still stands. There are other legal principles like this, which the DWP skates over. However, there have been several Commissioners’ decisions relating to points of law which have upheld and reinforced such laws, in the face of the DWP and it’s staff’s attempts to circumvent them or apply them in ways that were not intended. If you can find out what the actual law is and look for any Commissioners’ decisions that may relate to your circumstances, quote all this at the DWP. Put it in writing; and keep a record of calls and the name of the person you spoke to. Do some reasearch, get advice from charities or online sites. Get someone to represent you, like a welfare rights advisor, if you can. At the least, have a witness. From experience, the DWP are less likely to try and roll you flat if they think you know your rights and aren’t just going to accept what they say and go away, or if someone else can confirm what they’ve said to you. Most of all, appeal everything – and gather as much of your own evidence yourself as you can. The DWP is supposed to collect evidence; but often doesn’t do it. I know mostly about Disability benefits, as I volunteer for a disability rights charity, and Tribunal decisions relating to ESA and PIP appeals, where the Tribunal overturns the DWP decision, were running at about 70% last time I checked; and the DWP was overturning about 50% of its own decisions on mandatory reconsideration in the summer. So it really is worth it if you think they have made the wrong decision. I suffer from severe mental health problems: I know this stuff is nigh on impossible to do when you’re ill, and the stress of it can make your illness worse. But grinding poverty and the stress of trying work when you really can’t is worse. Mainly, though, do it because this is your right and the law of the land; and this tiny bunch of ignorant, cruel and inept bastards have nether the legal nor the moral right to deprive people who are really sick of even the basic level of support that we, as a country, have decided they should get. Forgive the rant; but this makes me literally cry with fury and disgust. We have to keep fighting this – now: it’s going to be a long time before anyone else wades in and saves us. And it’s already too late for far too many people.

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  13. Let’s get one thing straight. The Government are not on a campaign to single out the sick and disabled. They are conducting a vendetta against them!

    This is a war in all but name. We know of criminal activity by the Government. We know they are subjecting the most vulnerable in our society to every sickening and evil device they can to try and force them to work when they cannot. This is why I say it is a vendetta. It’s not constructive policy, it’s not an attempt to get people back into work,. It is a clear-cut policy to victimise.

    What next? put all really sick people into ‘labour centres’ and see how far they can be pushed before they snap? OK, we don’t have these ‘centres’ yet, but it’s only a matter of time before something like this happens.

    It’s only in regimes run by tyrants that the sick and disabled are considered a nuisance and an unnecessary drain on the public purse. What the heck! Let’s just forget they exist – make them non-persons with no rights. Now that Guantanamo Bay has plenty of spare rooms, we can send the chronically ill there. They will be off British soil and not the country’s problem any longer. Perhaps when Obama leaves office and we get some extreme right-wing nutter running the USA, a deal can be made.

    Trust me. This may all seem an exaggeration. But we are on a slippery slope and the Government will keep pushing to see how much it can get away with. After all, if we could be put into death camps (like the Jews), I’m sure Cameron’s lot would do it if they thought they could get away with it.

    Sarin, anyone?

    PS. My website (www.brownedoff.com) hasn’t been updated for quite a while. Been so busy (and sick) that it is difficult to find time (and the energy) to do anything constructive. But I’ll get around to updating the website – one day.

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  14. 1. The GP is out of order and therefore, probably, a tory – can’t be more insulting than that!
    2. This has to be challenged as, irrespective of this nazi government, GPs have obligations over and above what a group of zealot extremists think and want.
    3. So much for the ‘importance’ of people’s mental wellbeing aka Cameron the cxxtory
    4. As above, this policy is deliberate and becoming a template for attacks on other parts of our population. Nobody has asked for them, nobody wants them but the population is so suppine it would show more regret, nay anger, if X-factor was cancelled!
    5 people are dying as a direct result of these vile, nazi actions of a government out of control – the people who are only too happy to go and kill people in other countries as well
    6.That’s what we are up against

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