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Severely ill refusing sicknotes as they cannot afford not to work, says GPs’ head

Exclusive: Doctors suffering ‘moral distress’ at their powerlessness to help most vulnerable, says head of the Royal College of GPs

Ill patients are refusing sicknotes from their GP because they cannot afford time off work, while physicians suffer “moral distress” at their powerlessness to do more to help the most vulnerable, the new leader of Britain’s family doctors has revealed.

More patients are experiencing asthma attacks or other serious breathing problems because they cannot afford to heat their homes, said Dr Kamila Hawthorne, the chair of the Royal College of GPs, while many have reported deteriorating mental health due to financial stress.

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