Press release

Publication of DWP research report 733: General Practitioners' attitudes towards patients' health

This news article was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Research is published today by the Department for Work and Pensions which presents the findings from a quantitative survey.

Research is published today by the Department for Work and Pensions which presents the findings from a quantitative survey that was designed to collect data on GPs’ attitudes to patients’ health and work issues amongst their patients and their views on whether and how the fit note has changed their clinical practice.

The key findings of the report were as follows:

  • Almost all (99%) of GPs thought that work was beneficial for health and that helping patients to stay in or return to work was an important part of the GPs role. 96% agreed that worklessness is generally detrimental to people’s health.
  • The majority of GPS reported positive impacts of the ‘fit note’ on the quality of consultations and outcomes for patients.
  • Respondents were evenly split on whether the introduction of the fit note had lengthened consultation times.
  • The majority of GPs reported an absence of good services locally to which they could refer patients for support or advice about return to work.
  • A minority of GPs reported that they had received training in work and health within the past 12 months.

Notes to Editors:

  • DWP Research Report No 733 - General Practitioners’ attitudes towards patients’ health and work. is published today, 28th July 2011, by DWP
  • Questions were included in the 6th National General Practitioner Worklife Survey conducted by the National Primary Care Research and Development Centre (NPCRDC). The report authors are Dr Mark Hann and Professor Bonnie Sibbald
  • The report and summary are available free on the DWP website http://research.dwp.gov.uk/asd/asd5/rrs-index.asp
  • The report is based on  postal survey  responses of 1405 GPs.