Coronavirus and requests for Doctor’s Notes


Coronavirus and requests for Doctor’s Notes

Dear Patient

You have requested a Doctor’s Sick Note from your GP in relation to being off work.

GPs have a responsibility to prioritise the assessment and management of the healthcare needs of patients who are acutely unwell, rather than spending time dealing with requests for sick notes, particularly when they aren’t in a position to issue one.

Your GP is under increasing pressure to meet the day to day demands from ill patients at this current time.

This briefing has been written for and on behalf of your GP surgery, so please accept this as a reply to your request for a sick note/letter from the surgery.

Fit / Sick note requests for illnesses of 7 days or less

The Government’s current rules around issuing a Fit note (Med3) sometimes known as a sick note are that a medical professional can only issue a Fit Note (Med3) when an individual has had more than seven continuous calendar days off sick due to an illness (including weekends).

For any period of illness of 7 days or less proof of sickness from a medical professional is not required.
Your employer may however, ask you to to complete a self-certification certificate.

In the unlikely event that your employer does not accept a self certification then your doctor may be able to issue a private sick note for which there will be a charge.

You can view the government’s guidance on sick leave and fit notes here.

Isolation Notes

To find out if you need to self isolate and or get an isolation note please go to this page on NHS 111 online and answer the required questions. You will be given advice what to do according to your symptoms and then be given access to the online isloation note service.

If you have already taken advice to self isolate, you can arrange and download an isolation note here.

Quarantine after recent travel

In light of the current Coronavirus situation, it is inevitable that a number of employees may be required to quarantine themselves at home for example due to the nature of recent travel, even in the absence of any symptoms of an illness. In these cases, your GP will not be able to issue a sick note as the time off work is not due to an illness, and isnot affecting your ability to work, but rather is a precaution to avoid transmission of any illness that is yet to produce symptoms.

We therefore, expect your employer to be sympathetic if you are required to self-isolate for 14 days and to understand that the reason for this is to protect the welfare of your work colleagues and the wider community.

Children taking time out from school

There is no NHS requirement for GPs to provide letters to the school to confirm the reason for children taking time off school. As I am sure you will appreciate, with the rapidly evolving Coronavirus situation,

We hope that schools will work with parents to ensure any time off is appropriately recorded, obviating the need for a doctors note.

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