LMCs warn fit notes more open to forgery than sick notes

Revised Med 3 forms introduced this month, dubbed 'fit notes', are more open to forgery than the sick notes they replaced, LMCs have warned.

Dr Watson: electronic sick notes could prevent forgeries
Dr Watson: electronic sick notes could prevent forgeries

Dr Nigel Watson, Wessex LMCs chief executive said feedback from GPs has been ‘largely positive', but some have raised concerns about security.

‘The biggest problem I have been hearing is that in the past the sick notes were secure,' Dr Watson said. ‘But with the current fit notes there is no bar code to stop people from forging them, and unlike the sick notes the practice name and address is not printed on them before they arrive.'

Dr Paul Roblin, chief executive of Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire LMC, also suggested the new sick note looked like a ‘home produced document', so it could potentially be ‘copied by an unscrupulous individual'.

‘It's definitely more open to forgery than the sick note,' he said.

Dr Watson said that some GPs would like to see an electronic version of the sick note.

‘This would be quite sensible, and it would allow GPs to generate the forms themselves,' he explained.

Apart from the security concerns, LMC leaders said implementation of fit notes had been largely successful. Concerns the forms would increase workload have failed to materialise thus far.

The Department for Work and Pensions declined to comment.

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