Seriously ill man dies after the DWP wrote to his GP telling them not to issue sick notes | Evolve Politics

[Note: Since I put this up, a media friend has been in contact to point out that the Evolve Politics story is from last year. Somebody had put it on my feed without drawing attention to the date, so I was misled. Curiously, this story has gone on to be the most-read of the day (September 4, 2017). Make of that what you will!

My friend has since pointed out: “STILL no lessons have been learned by the DWP.

“This ridiculous ‘letters to doctors’ practice still goes on today. It must stop….It’s wrong and immoral, and it’s also coinciding with the United Nations investigation.

“Yet in the period of that investigation, a man dies, after a letter is sent by the DWP asking the GP not to issue any further sick notes! Of course, it doesn’t apply if the DWP find a person fit to work, does it? And that’s to say it then doesn’t matter how seriously ill a person is!”

Good points.]

Reports in Scottish newspaper The Daily Record and tabloid newspaper the Daily Mirror make for both tragic and, sadly, all-too-familiar reading today.

Declared fit for work under the DWP’s hated Work Capability Assessment scheme, James Harrison repeatedly asked his GP to issue a ‘fit note’ declaring him unfit to work. Despite repeated appointments (and as many refusals), his GP consistently declined to issue one.

He suffered from a serious lung condition, depression, anxiety and a hernia.

Harrison became steadily more convinced that the DWP had been in contact with his GP to stop ‘fit notes’ being issued to him, a claim that even his daughter Abbie didn’t at first believe.

Until she saw the letter from the DWP office in Bootle stating exactly that.

Source: Seriously ill man dies after the DWP wrote to his GP telling them not to issue sick notes | Evolve Politics

Here are four ways to be sure you’re among the first to know what’s going on.

1) Register with us by clicking on ‘Subscribe’ (in the left margin). You can then receive notifications of every new article that is posted here.

2) Follow VP on Twitter @VoxPolitical

3) Like the Facebook page at

Join the Vox Political Facebook page.

4) You could even make Vox Political your homepage at

And do share with your family and friends – so they don’t miss out!

If you have appreciated this article, don’t forget to share it using the buttons at the bottom of this page. Politics is about everybody – so let’s try to get everybody involved!

Vox Political needs your help!
If you want to support this site
but don’t want to give your money to advertisers)
you can make a one-off donation here:

Donate Button with Credit Cards

Buy Vox Political books so we can continue
fighting for the facts.

The Livingstone Presumption is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

Health Warning: Government! is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

The first collection, Strong Words and Hard Times,
is still available in either print or eBook format here:


15 thoughts on “Seriously ill man dies after the DWP wrote to his GP telling them not to issue sick notes | Evolve Politics

  1. wildthing666

    It’s not up to the department of w**kers and parasites to say a person is not ill it is up to their GP and if the person dies it just shows how wrong they are in trying to get a GP to not isue a sick note.

    1. hugosmum70

      Drs should stand up for their patients. if they believe they are seriously ill then they should tell the dwp to shove their opinions where the sun dont shine …. its a Doctors prerogative to decide who is ill and who is not or who could work and who could not. hypocratic oath etc. i know they dont actually swear to the original these days but i read that they do have to sign something similar still not sure if thats at beginning or end of training. dwp are nothing but little hitlers under a pyramid of bigger hitlers. the higher the pyramid the bigger and more hideously evil they are… having said that, that dr who knew how ill this man was, should also face a jury…….. makes you wonder what hold the conservative govt have on them.

  2. 61chrissterry

    Shared on 61chrissterry.

    This is disgraceful, but why am I not surprised at the antics of the DWP.

    Not only do they not understand work ethics, but now they propose they are knowledgeable on health matters, is there anything the DWP will not do to cut back on paying benefits. Why not an executioner at all their offices, because their prime aim is to create situations where claimants will die.

    I also accuse James Harrison GP of not looking after the health of their patient and allowing themselves to be dictated to by the DWP.

      1. 61chrissterry

        I agree, where is the GPs duty.

        It would appear that this practice by the DWP (Job Centre) has been going on for sometime and they argue it is to keep the GP up to date about actions and circumstances relating to the patient.

        I suppose it depends on why a sick note needs to be issued and to what purpose it can be used.

        In paid employment this would be for the employer to substantiate the reason for an employee not to be attending for work.

        When a person is unemployed and due to their ill health are unable to look for work the sick note would be used so the entitlement for NI credit to be granted. But if the DWP are stating the person, according to them, is ‘fit for work’ would they, in fact use the sick note for this purpose. So if that is the only reason for the sick note, then is there a point in issuing such a note.

        I believe that GPs should still issue these sick note as if there is any dispute, legal or otherwise the sick note could be used as evidence that the DWPs assumptions were incorrect according to the persons GP.

        So I do agree, but first surely a complaint will be required to the GMC and who is going to have the courage to do that.

  3. Prickly

    This – DWP telling GP not to issue sick/fit note has been going on for years. Back in 2011 I had my first ESA assessment and found ‘fit for work’. I received sick notes from GP whilst waiting for appeal. First one for 4 weeks, then he issued one for six months whilst muttering something along the lines of ‘The maximum I can sign one for is six months, even though we know you aren’t going to get better.’ Six months later I needed another sick note as my appeal still hadn’t been heard. This time GP seemed annoyed with me, and said ‘I’m sure the DWP have told me not to issue you with any more sick notes.’ He searched my file and seemed even more annoyed when he didn’t find any such letter. He had obviously already received his instructions from DWP about other patients.

  4. marcusdemowbray

    A government is legally obliged to ensure the safety and well-being of the nation and its citizens, under national and international legislation. Deliberately interfering with a Medical Professional’s opinion and risking the citizen/patient’s health and life (as in this case) seems to me to be a possible Criminal Offence. This case must be made known to the UN. It might be a great “Test Case” to prove a Criminal accountability.

  5. Justin

    in this case the Bootle office should be held accountable and all staff concerned and by law, they have no right to tell your GP to dictate to you and they are not the professionals involved in care and the moment they think they are and have the right then they should be subject to the same legal rulings that apply to the medical side, sadly this shows what this policy is designed to do, undermine care and the NHS and bring in mistrust to the system, ids and cg and anyone mp’s ministers and advisors should hang there heads in shame and there should be law changes to make them more accountable and if that means criminal cases and imprisonment once found guilty then throw on the chains and take them away, not to a open prison as well.

Comments are closed.