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 PLEASE NOTE:  Please note prescriptions are being requested as usual. We ask that you only order when you have seven days left anything else will be rejected.

Housing/Benefit Letters

 

Aylesford Medical Centre is committed to supporting our patients. All requests for letters for benefits, council or any other third parties, we will only complete with a formal request from the third party.

Please note all requests from the third party will require the patients formal consent.

We will only complete factual responses. We are not allowed to give an opinion. If in doubt we will refuse to complete the request and may issue a copy of medical records instead with your consent.

Be aware we charge for any requests and copies of records and requests can take up to 28 days.

HOUSING APPLICATIONS

If you are intending to apply for a council home for health reasons, YOU DO NOT NEED A DOCTOR’S LETTER.

The Council will write, in confidence, to your doctor if further information is required.

GPs receive frequent requests for medical letters and reports in support of housing applications from a variety of sources – the local authority, housing associations, directly from patients and from patients via Citizens Advice Bureaux. The arrangements for seeking GP reports and for payment vary from local authority area to local authority area, and even when clearly agreed are often not implemented by local authority staff. However all requests should come via the Housing Association and not the patient.

Information in support an application based on health grounds should be supplied by the applicant using a form provided by the Housing Department (self-assessment). This should not require any input from the GP/practice.

Only if additional information is required, should the Housing Department Medical Officer obtain it from the applicant’s doctor, preferably using a standard form, provided the patient has given written consent. The Medical Officer should seek information which is only available to the GP, for example:

  • the diagnosis;
  • severity of the illness;
  • medication;

RESCUE MEDICATION HOAX

There has been an unhelpful and misleading message being widely spread on social media advising people with respiratory conditions including asthma and COPD to seek “rescue medication” from their GP.

Please DO NOT ask your GP for ‘rescue medication’ if you don’t usually have standby medication for your respiratory condition. The original post was taken down. It was posted in good faith but is potentially dangerous and is certainly unhelpful.

British Lung Foundation’s response
“We’ve been made aware of some posts on social media saying that if you have a lung condition, your GP will issue a rescue pack of steroids and antibiotics.

If you're normally advised to have a rescue pack available to treat your lung condition then it's a good idea to check you have one. This is recommended for some with COPD to be used as part of a personalised plan. For people with asthma, we do not recommend these as standard.

If someone’s asthma is bad enough to consider steroids it is essential they are assessed by a health care professional. Even at this busy time for the NHS, getting early support for any problems with your lungs is critical to keep you well and out of hospital.”

Along similar lines, please do not stockpile inhalers. If you haven’t needed one for many years don’t ask for one now. We are seeing increasing supply issues due to over-ordering. Please be patient with your community pharmacist, they are doing the best they can in difficult circumstances.

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