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Doctors find fit note “ineffective”

5 November 2010

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Seven months after it was introduced, doctors are still unsure about the effectiveness of the ‘fit note’ system, a new survey has revealed.

Officially known as the Statement of Fitness for Work, the fit note replaced the sick note on 6 April this year.

The new system allows GPs to offer general advice and make suggestions on how employers can support employees with medical conditions so they return to work quicker.

But the Health of the Workplace report conducted by Aviva found that more than 50% of GPs have less time to spend with their patients and struggle to provide more detailed advice relating to their lifestyles and working environments.

About 65% of respondents said they feel “ill-equipped” to issue fit notes, while 68% believe that it will not help reduce the number of absences – compared with 54% who were asked last year before the system was introduced.

The annual Health of the Workplace report surveys GPs, employers and workers on workplace health challenges and topical issues relating to employment.

Copyright © Press Association 2010

NHS Fit Note

Related MiP article:

“Fit notes” explained