The fee that GP's receive for Factual Reports requested by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) to adjudicate claims for Disability Living Allowance is set to almost double following an agreement reached today (1/7/04) between the BMA and DWP.
From 1st October 2004, the fee for completing Factual Reports will rise from £17 to £32 providing the GP meets new targets on turnaround times for completion.
The current fee has been widely regarded by GP's as unsatisfactory and has not been uprated for over 10 years. Dr Peter Holden, Chairman of the BMA's Professional Fees Committee said: "We are delighted to have reached an agreement with the DWP on new fees for GP Factual Reports after many unsuccessful attempts to secure an increase."
In addition to the new fee the report is now shorter and asks for factual information rather than functionally based questions (such as walking distance or ability to prepare a main meal) which were asked in the previous report.
GP's will be asked to complete the report, ideally within 10 working days. However if, after 20 days from the receipt of the request, the GP has neither completed the report or notified the Disability and Carers Service within the DWP of a delay, they may not be entitled to receive payment for their work but nor will they be required to complete it.
Commenting on the announcement, Professor Mansel Aylward, Chief Medical Adviser at the Department for Work and Pensions said: "GP's play a vital role in providing the Department with clinical information about their patients' claims to state benefits. Following many helpful comments from GP's and the BMA I am pleased that we now have a new form asking appropriate information. I am so pleased that we are now in a position to increase, very significantly, the fee for a factual report."