GPs demand end to fit notes role and longer illness self-certification

GP leaders at the BMA annual conference in Belfast today will argue that the profession should no longer be involved in certification of fitness to work and that patients should be able to take two weeks off work without needing a sick note from their doctor.

GPC deputy chairman Dr Richard Vautrey
GPC deputy chairman Dr Richard Vautrey

In motions set to be debated at the 2016 BMA annual representative meeting, GPs will demand that 'certification of fitness to work is removed from GPs and that the Department for Work and Pensions should establish their own means of determining benefits'.

They will call for a move from 7-day to 14-day self certification of illness to ease pressure on GPs to provide sick notes.

GPs will warn that excess workload, workforce pressures and underfunding have left the profession 'at risk of collapse', and will say that if general practice fails, the NHS will also fail.

GP funding

Debates will also call for an 11% share of NHS funding for general practice and a review to determine the extent of workload facing the profession.

GP leaders will warn that practices should retain a GMS contract with ring-fenced funding for individual practices even if they work within an MCP model.

GPC deputy chairman Dr Richard Vautrey told GPonline: 'When GPs are under such severe workload pressure we need to ensure those patients that really need to see a GP are prioritised by reducing unnecessary appointments made by others.

'At the same time we need to empower and trust patients more. The proposal to extend the period of self certification from seven to 14 days would help to do all these things.'

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