Sick Notes

If you are off work sick for seven days or less, your employer should not ask you for a doctor’s certificate. You will need a medical certificate if you are off work sick for more than seven days. The seven days include days that you don’t normally work. So when you work out how long you’ve been off sick, you should include weekends and bank holidays.

Sick Certification Forms

Your employer can ask you to confirm that you’ve been ill. You can do this by filling in a form yourself when you return to work. This is called self-certification.

Self-certification forms usually include details such as:

  • information about your sickness or illness
  • the date your sickness started
  • the date your sickness ended

These dates may be days that you don’t normally work. For example, your sickness could start or end on a Saturday, Sunday or bank holiday.

Many employers have their own self-certification forms. If your employer doesn’t have their own form, instead they may use an SC2 form from HM Revenue & Customs – Employee’s Statement of Sickness. 

Click HERE to download a template self-certification form.

Sickness of More Than Seven Days

If you are sick and off work for more than seven days, your employer will normally ask you to provide a medical certificate from your GP.

When you need a certificate will also depend on your employer’s company policy on sick leave (or sickness absence). This policy should tell you how many days you can be off sick before you need a note.

To find out about your employer’s policy:

  • ask your team leader or supervisor, or
  • speak to someone from your human resources (HR) or personnel department

Sick Notes and How to Get One

A medical certificate note must be signed by a doctor. The Fit Notes mean your GP can give you advice to help you return to work. This is because work can play an important part in helping people to recover from illness on injury. The GP can either say you are not fit for work, or can say you may be fit for work. The GP will choose the option for may be fit to work if they think that returning to work – with support from your employer – will help you.

There is also space for the GP to give advice to your employer about the impact of your illness or injury and can suggest common ways in which your employer can help you return to work such as allowing you to work part time or temporarily or by changing your duties, for example, if you have back pain, avoiding heavy lifting.

Fit notes are also sometimes called doctor’s notes, sick notes, medical certificates or doctor’s statements.

If you have seen a doctor at the practice regarding the problem you need a medical certificate for (or we have received a letter from the hospital about your sickness) you many not need to see the doctor again. You can complete a fit note request form at reception, which will be passed to the doctor to review. The doctor may also be able to speak to you on the telephone depending on how well they know you and why you are off work sick.

If you have not seen a doctor at the practice and we have had no information from a medical professional about your illness, you will not be able to get a certificate without an appointment. Please book a routine appointment; urgent appointments are only provided for genuine medical emergencies and not for the purpose of certificates.

In either case there are rules governing the issue of sick certificates and the GP may not be able to supply one, depending on the information you provide.

If you are under the care of a hospital, your certificate may be issued by the hospital, rather than by the practice.

General Practice in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland is in crisis and asks patients for their understanding and help

 

General practice is in crisis, and is asking patients to change the way they treat the service.

 

Before the pandemic general practice was already in decline due to decades of underinvestment.  The number of practices had fallen by 778 (10%) in the past 8 years leaving 2.5million patients having to find a new one.  The number of senior GPs had plummeted by 4,685 (22%) over just 5 years.

 

Dr Nainesh Chotai (GP, Senior partner at The Glenfield Surgery and Chair of LLRLMC) said “consecutive governments have raised expectations without the required investment. We are asking our patients to recognise this, and help us to ensure that our limited resources are used for those patients with the greatest need”.

 

Despite this general practice had risen to the task of providing a safe service throughout the pandemic, and in March 2021 provided 4.9 million more appointments than in February 2021, and 2.3million more appointments per month than before the pandemic (March 2019).

 

In addition, general practice has delivered the majority of the Covid Vaccination Programme.

 

Instead of praising general practices, some newspapers have castigated them, falsely accusing GPs of not pulling their weight, and practices of closing their doors.

 

Dr Fahreen Dhanji (GP Partner at Latham House Medical Centre, and LLRLMC Board Member) said “unfortunately many of our patients believe the false impression given by the tabloids, resulting in mistrust, abuse and unwarranted complaints”

 

As hospital departments restart their outpatient clinics these are often done remotely, and they frequently expect general practice to pick up their work (for example arranging blood tests and scans, prescribing medication, arranging follow up, issuing sick notes) in addition to their own workload.  This further reduces general practices’ ability to help our patients.

 

Dr Grant Ingrams (Managing GP Partner at Oakmeadow Surgery and LLRLMC Board member) said “We need hospitals and other services to recognise that general practice is at breaking point.  Every time someone expects general practice to carry out additional unfunded and uncontracted work, this reduces general practice’s ability to meet the health needs of our own patients.”

 

General practices are asking patients to:

Be respectful and kind

Be self sufficient

Be prepared

Be thoughtful

Be Covid aware

Be patient

Be cancer aware

 

Dr Grant Ingrams added “Be cancer aware is a crucial message. We are concerned that there has been a reduction in people presenting with symptoms of possible cancer or other serious conditions.  We want patients to use services responsibly so we can see those with worrying symptoms without delay.

 

Dr Nainesh Chotai concluded “general practitioners and our staff have been affected like other members of our communities.  Too many of our colleagues, family members, friends, and patients who we have known for many years, have died or otherwise suffered.  Today, we are asking for our patients to work with us, and for other services to recognise our current limitations.  Together we can ensure that we focus our resources on patients with the greatest health need and get through this pandemic and the recovery period minimising the long term damage to the health of our communities.”