Will GPs treat energy bill pain?

Britons could reportedly soon receive prescriptions from their GPs to get money off their energy bills

Big Zero Report 2022

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Will GPs soon prescribe not only medication but also energy bill discounts?

The Sun on Sunday has reported that the government is considering a proposal that could see Britons go to their GP if they needed help to heat their homes.

Doctors could then verify if the person needs more help and would write a prescription suggesting that the patient should get money off their bills.

This prescription could help the person receive cash from their council or a voucher for gas and electricity.

In response to the reported plan, the British Medical Association (BMA) has said it is “totally unacceptable” to place this additional responsibility upon GPs.

Dr David Wrigley, BMA England GP Committee Deputy Chair, said: “We completely reject any suggestion that GPs do this work. They do not have the time or the skills to do the work of the welfare system.

“At a time when GPs are already overwhelmed with the greatest workforce crisis and longest waiting lists in memory, this addition to their workload would be totally unacceptable. It beggars belief that government ministers think it is appropriate to suggest GPs undertake it.

“The government has not discussed this with us in any form – floating these sorts of proposals via the media is deeply unprofessional.”

A government spokesperson told ELN: “We know that rising prices are causing significant challenges for families, which is why we have continually taken action to help households by phasing in £37 billion worth of support throughout the year, which includes specific support to help people through the difficult winter ahead.

“Eight million of the most vulnerable households will see £1,200 extra support, provided in instalments across the year and everyone will receive £400 over the winter to help with energy bills.

“That’s including a record fuel duty cut and a National Insurance cut worth up to £330 a year for the typical employee.

“We are making necessary preparations to ensure a new government will have options to deliver additional support as quickly as possible.”

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