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Sickness Certificates / Fit Notes

If you require a repeat sick note that you have previously received and only need a repeat, without change to your symptoms, our reception staff can be able to help you with your request and will inform the GP. The GP may contact to confirm your symptoms of necessary.

Simply request for a repeat sick note without booking an appointment from our receptionists who may take your details and speak to the Doctor who may contact you back before issuing.

If you a requesting for a new sick note but have evidence supporting this, ie AE attendance letter or similar document, our receptionist may be able to facilitate your request without having to book an appointment.

Seven days off sick or less

If you're off work sick for seven days or less, your employer shouldn't ask for medical evidence that you've been ill.

Instead they 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.

More than seven days off sick

If you're off work sick for more than seven days your employer will normally ask for a fit note (or Statement of Fitness for Work) from your GP or hospital doctor.

Fit notes are sometimes referred to as medical statements or a doctor's note. 

How can I get a fit note?

If you need a fit note, contact your GP surgery. Or if you are getting hospital treatment this should be provided by your hospital doctor or consultant.

Your doctor will assess you, and if they decide your health affects your fitness for work, they can issue a fit note and advise either that:

  • you are "not fit for work" 
  • you "may be fit for work taking into account the following advice"

Your doctor will choose the "may be fit for work" option if they think that you are able to do some work even if it not your usual job – with support from your employer.

Discuss this advice with your employer to see if you can return to work. For example, your doctor may suggest possible changes, such as:

  • Returning to work gradually – for example, by starting part-time
  • Temporarily working different hours
  • Performing different duties or tasks
  • Having other support to do your job – for example, if you have back pain, avoiding heavy lifting

If your employer is unable to accommodate the changes advised by your GP then the fit note is treated as though it said "unfit for work".

Do I need a return to work note?

If you are fit for work, you do not need a fit note.

Your doctor will only give you a fit note if your health affects your fitness for work.

The below guide provides explanation for patients and employers:

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/464395/fit-note-patients-employees-guidance-sept-2015.pdf

Getting support from Fit for Work

Fit for Work is a free service designed to help people who are off work due to sickness or in work with a health condition.

If you've been off or are expecting to be off work for four weeks or more, your employer or doctor may refer you, with your consent, to the Fit for Work service.

A Fit for Work professional will then discuss the type of support you need to return to work and produce a Return to Work Plan which your employer can accept instead of a fit note.

Anyone can access information on work-related health issues on the Fit for work website. You can also chat online to a specialist adviser or call the helpline on 0800 032 6235.

Read the answers to more questions about workplace health.


Further information:

Call 111 when you need medical help fast but it’s not a 999 emergencyNHS ChoicesThis site is brought to you by My Surgery Website