30 June 2022
More health professionals to be able to certify fit notes
More health professionals have been given the power to certify and issue fit notes to employees who are absent because of sickness.
From 1 July 2022, nurses, occupational therapists, pharmacists and physiotherapists will be able to legally certify fit notes, reducing pressure on doctors, including GPs, who are struggling with capacity amid a backlog of treatment requests owing to the pandemic.
Employees who are off sick for more than seven days are required to give their employer a fit note, issued by a health professional, which provides evidence about their absence and any advice on how to support them to remain or return to work.
Further changes were made in April to allow for fit notes to be certified and issued digitally, in a bid to make the process more efficient.
Minister for disabled people, work and health Chloe Smith said: "The extension of fit note certification is fantastic news for patients, making it easier for them to get the support and advice they need from the right place, ensuring where possible that they are able to remain in work.
"These latest fit note changes recognise the valuable role other professions play in helping manage people's health, and I hope this will also help reduce unnecessary bureaucracy for doctors and general practice more widely."
British Medical Association England GP committee deputy chair, Dr Kieran Sharrock, said: "This announcement is a positive step and we hope that it will go some way to both improving the process for people who need confirmation that they are too unwell to work, and free-up GPs time to care for patients who need their expertise."
Source: Published date; 10 June 2022, Publisher DVV Media International Ltd, Source Personnel Today
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