Information for the Medical Profession

 

Resource for GPs

 

CAA  has created an information resource for GPs, raising awareness of mesothelioma, lung cancer and all other asbestos conditions. Approved by NHS_Education & COPFS.

Though this resource has been produced specifically for General Practitioners, it will also be relevant to any medical professional involved in respiratory medicine,  with contributions from the National Advisory Group, the Procurator Fiscal’s Office (Glasgow) and the legal profession.

Click here to view on CPD Connect

The resource aims to provide a comprehensive overview of the main issues surrounding asbestos related conditions that are pertinent to GP’s in their everyday practice

QAA notice

  • Be familiar with patterns of asbestos related disease, including those most at risk from developing an asbestos related disease
  • Understand the presenting signs and symptoms and referral protocols for asbestos related disease
  • Have an awareness of the importance of occupational history and the potential for gender bias in attributing the nature of exposure
  • Understand the basis for UK government compensation including, the statutory time limits to make a claim and the role of the medical profession in the facilitation of claims
  • Know the procedures and statutory requirements regarding the specific categories of deaths that must be reported to, and require investigation by, the Procurator Fiscal
  • Be aware of the current legal landscape and statutory time limits that apply to the civil/personal injury claims process and the potential risks of legal action for ‘loss of opportunity’ if failing to notify the Procurator Fiscal of a death which may have been caused by an industrial disease.

 

Outline of Scotland filled in with Scottish flagMesothelioma Pro Forma for Reporting Deaths (Scotland)

 

Changes have been agreed with the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service (COPFS) regarding the reporting of certain deaths by the doctor to the Procurator Fiscal (PF), required by legislation, including the reporting of Mesothelioma.

meso pro forma jpg

“A Pro Forma has been devised to reduce distress caused to relatives when a person diagnosed with mesothelioma or suspected of having mesothelioma dies.

“It distils information required by the PF through a structured consistent record, and enables PF to make decisions expeditiously without always requiring a post mortem to establish the facts required for a civil case for compensation to proceed.”

Download Pro Forma Documents

“This not only benefits the bereaved relatives, but also the COPFS and the NHS. Importantly, it obviates the need for relatives to be interviewed by the police at a very stressful time and also reduces the medical staff and the police interview time.”

 

Chief Medical Officer Sir Harry Burns MPH FRCS(Glas) FRCP(Ed) FFPH
Crown Agent and Chief Executive Catherine Dyer (17 March 2014)

 

Reporting Deaths to the Procurator Fiscal: Information and Guidance for Medical Practitioners. 2015.pdf  

(Section 10: Asbestosis, mesothelioma and asbestos-related lung cancer)

electronic reporting
Electronic Reporting of Deaths to the Procurator Fiscal

Electronic Reporting of Deaths to the Procurator Fiscal will be rolled out by the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service (COPFS), and NHS National Services Scotland (NSS) to NHS Scotland and hospices in phases, from 18 March 2015.

Directorate of Chief Medical Office Crown Agent and Chief Executive of Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service

Further information and guidance on the role of the Procurator Fiscal can be obtained from the Crown Office & Procurator Fiscal Service website

 

meso x-rayRequest for Confirmation of Mesothelioma Diagnosis

 

The majority of individuals who suffer from mesothelioma are entitled to compensation from the government in the form of Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit (IIDB) and a lump sum payment under either the Pneumoconiosis etc. (Workers Compensation) Act 1979 or Diffuse Mesothelioma Scheme 2008. Those who cannot show that they were exposed to asbestos at work are not entitled to IIDB but should still qualify for a payment under the Diffuse Mesothelioma Scheme 2008.

An application for the Pneumoconiosis Work comp Act must be made within 12 months of receipt of IIDB. An application to the Diffuse Mesothelioma Scheme must be made within 12 months of diagnosis.  The Department for Work & Pensions (DWP) has therefore issued the following guidance for doctors:

 

The doctor’s role in the 2008 Diffuse Mesothelioma Scheme

 

If your patient is diagnosed with Diffuse Mesothelioma:

  • encourage them to claim the appropriate benefit as soon as possible
  • provide documentary confirmation of the diagnosis of Diffuse Mesothelioma

 

The claim will fail if the medical evidence does not clearly say that the claimant has Diffuse Mesothelioma.

 

In a tiny number of cases, Centre for Health and Disability Assessments may contact you requesting information about or clarification of the evidence submitted by the claimant. This contact may be by phone.

You will be asked to provide Health Assessment Advisory Services with documentary evidence where possible, and in most cases due to the urgency of making a decision on entitlement, you will be requested to supply the information by fax if possible.

Suitable supplementary documentary evidence might include copies of hospital letters, X-ray reports, scans or biopsy results.

If documentary evidence is not available, but the diagnosis of diffuse mesothelioma has been made, verbal confirmation of the diagnosis is acceptable.

www.gov.uk/government/publications/healthcare-professionals-their-role-in-the-provision-of-dwp-benefits-and-services

There is no longer a requirement for applicants who suffer from lung cancer or mesothelioma to attend a medical examination in connection with their application for benefit/compensation. However, confirmation of diagnosis from a medical professional is still required. Confirmation of diagnosis is therefore vital in expediting an application. CAA will normally request confirmation from a GP, hospital consultant or lung cancer specialist nurse.

 

Request for DS1500 – Special Rules Provision – Definition of Terminal Illness

 

For our clients who are terminally ill, as part of their benefit/compensation entitlement review, it is normal practice for our welfare rights officers to contact a client’s GP or hospital consultant for a DS1500 report to allow an application for Disability Living Allowance or Attendance Allowance to be fast tracked under the ‘special rules’ provision. With regard to those diagnosed with mesothelioma, this request is generally granted. However, on some occasions the request may be refused.

You count as being terminally ill if at any time you have a progressive disease and your death in consequence of that disease can reasonably be expected within 6 months.
Social Security Contributions and Benefits Act 1992, Section 66 2(a)

 

Who is entitled to request a DS1500 Report?

 

Any individual who is terminally ill is entitled to request this report from any medical professional involved in their care. In practice, however, this is seldom the case and a DS1500 is normally requested by a representative acting on behalf of the individual concerned.

The legislation states that an application can be made without the knowledge of the individual.

On occasion it may be unclear exactly who is entitled to request a DS1500 or whether consent from the individual concerned is required. In some cases, a medical professional may be concerned about divulging the nature of such a request to their patient.  The legislation states that an application can be made without the individual’s knowledge….. ‘where a person purports to make a claim for an attendance allowance by virtue of that subsection on behalf of another, that other shall be regarded as making the claim, notwithstanding that it is made without his knowledge or authority’
Social Security Contributions and Benefits Act 1992, Section 66 2(b)

In short, it is open to anyone to request a DS1500 Report without the consent of the individual concerned. In practice however CAA welfare rights officers will always, where possible, ask an individual to sign a mandate of authority on first contact with CAA and this mandate will be sent with any request that we make.

 

Resources for Patients

Toolkit Cover Photo

 

Self-management Toolkit

Living with an asbestos-related disease

 

CAA, with  funding from Alliance Scotland, has produced a self-management Toolkit for those diagnosed with an asbestos related condition. The Toolkit aims to address any concerns that individuals may experience following a diagnosis of an asbestos related condition.  The Toolkit is available on request and is wideley distributed in GP Practices and hospitals throughout Scotland.

The Toolkit contains 5 Booklets and a DVD

    • Common Investigations
    • Frequently Asked Questions
    • Managing Breathlessness
    • Hints and Tips
    • Personal Stories

smt4

More information about the Self-management Toolkit

 

new general booklet 2015

 

CAA Service Booklet:  Information on asbestos-related conditions; compensation & benefits; support groups and CAA services

 

poster 2015

 

CAA Service Poster: Laminated poster (A3). Details CAA’s service and FREEPHONE helpline number.

Please contact us to request copies of our new service booklet, poster or any of our other publications –  listed below.

CAA produces a number of booklets which are available to patients who suffer from an asbestos related illness. The booklets are often used by GP’s and hospital based medical professionals, who provide them to patients who have been diagnosed with an asbestos related condition. All booklets are available on request.

Over a number of years CAA has produced a compilation of articles by medical professionals on the treatment and care for those diagnosed with mesothelioma. The aim of the newsletter is to provide a resource where current medical information can be accessed and shared with healthcare professionals involved in the care of patients suffering from mesothelioma

 

Mesothelioma Medical News No 1
Mesothelioma Medical News No 2
Mesothelioma Medical News No 3
Mesothelioma Medical News No 4
Mesothelioma Medical News No 5
Mesothelioma Medical News No 6

 

 

 

Medical News

 

Industrial Injuries Advisory Council (IIAC) and Asbestos – related Diseases Reports & Position Papers:

Contains public sector information licensed under the Open Government Licence v3.0.

Last updated: March 2017