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GPs provide medical care to patients and are not in a position to administer nor to police the benefits system. It is not appropriate for the GP to be asked for letters of support or letters to confirm housing or care needs. GPs are not contracted or resourced to provide this service and do not have the capacity to do so. Time taken up with paperwork is time taken away from direct patient care. There are contractual and agreed methods for GPs to provide information to the Department of Work and Pensions, Local Councils and other agencies. These are sent to the GP practice and GPs respond directly to the departments requesting information.
Therefore, we cannot respond directly to requests from patients for ‘letters of support’.