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Doctors to replace sick notes with FIT notes

7th April 2010

This article has been read 1055 times

The British Medical Association is urging local GPs and doctors to hand out FIT notes rather than sick notes to patients. The FIT note will inform the patients employer of the tasks they are able to perform rather than restrict patients to home rest as current sick notes do.

The FIT notes will be handed to those employees who have had 7 days off work. The sick note was first introduced by the NHS in 1948 and has been used by various reasons over the years. However, some feel that GPs hand out sick notes too quickly and that the system is often abused by people looking to skive off work

Under the current remit the UK loses 172 million working days a year, almost 6 sick days per person working in the UK. That costs the British economy £100 billion each year.

Whereas the current sick not system requires the doctor to make a judgement on patient health and whether they either can or can't work the FIT note will allow a doctor to assess the impact of a patient's illness and how this may affect their normal working day. If it does then the doctor will be able to advise both the patient and employer of the tasks the patient should and shouldn't undertake at work.

The Government have green lighted the scheme and have pledged to spend £10 million over the next 10 years to support it.

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