Self-Certification Could Be Extended to 2 Weeks

GPs are demanding an end to their role in the fit note regime and self-certification could be extended to 2 weeks.

GP leaders at the 2016 BMA annual conference in Belfast argued that the profession should no longer be involved in certification of fitness to work and that patients should be able to take two weeks off work without needing a sick note from their doctor.

In motions debated at the conference GPs demanded that ‘certification of fitness to work is removed from GPs and that the Department for Work and Pensions should establish their own means of determining benefits’.

Writing so-called “fit notes” for people who only need to be off work for a couple of weeks takes away appointments from patients who may actually need them, said Dr Richard Vautrey, Deputy Chairman of the British Medical Association’s (BMA) General Practitioners Committee.

They called for a move from a 7-day to a 14-day period of self certification of illness to ease pressure on GPs to provide sick notes.

This suggests employees would be allowed two weeks off work without having to prove they have been ill.

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Self-Certification Could Be Extended to 2 Weeks