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GMC unveils new guidance for GPs

Proposed new guidelines would require GPs to encourage people to return to work if they had been off on long-term sickness leave.

Patients should be supported by doctors to maintain their own health, according to the plans unveiled by the General Medical Council (GMC) in its draft Good Medical Practice guidance.

The draft guidance reads: "This may include encouraging patients, including those with long-term conditions, to stay in or return to employment or other purposeful activity.

"You may also advise patients on the effects of their life choices on their health and wellbeing and the possible outcomes of their treatments."

The GMC is currently in the process of consulting on the proposed guidance for doctors.

Steps were taken by the Government earlier this year to prevent people from making claims for incapacity benefit. The end of January marked the last time claims were accepted for this form of benefit.

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