Medical Certificates: Coronavirus

Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered on 14th January 2021.

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Photo of Rosie Cooper Rosie Cooper Labour, West Lancashire

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether GPs or NHS 111 are responsible for issuing covid-19 sick notes to patients; what guidance his Department has issued to the (a) NHS and (b) GPs on that matter; and what assessment he has made of consistency of advice given to patients by the (i) NHS and (ii) GPs on that matter.

Photo of Jo Churchill Jo Churchill The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care

A fit note can only be provided by a registered medical practitioner, usually a general practitioner (GP) or hospital doctor. GPs have been advised that they should continue to issue fit notes for health conditions that impact on a person’s ability to work.

The isolation note is a temporary service delivered online by NHS 111 to provide people with evidence for their employer of their need to self-isolate as a result of COVID-19.

The Department for Work and Pensions and the Department of Health and Social Care have worked collaboratively throughout the pandemic with the British Medical Association (BMA) to provide advice to GPs and to ensure that the isolation note guidance is updated in line with Government advice. The role of both the fit note and the isolation note service has been clarified and is also included in the guidance on the NHS.UK and GOV.UK websites. Specific advice for GPs has been published on the BMA website as part of their response to coronavirus, which was developed with input from the Department of Health and Social Care and the Department for Work and Pensions.

The Department of Health and Social Care and the Department for Work and Pensions continue to work with the BMA, employers and GPs to understand the issues being faced during the pandemic and to offer support that enable people to access the services they require.

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