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Sickness Certificates

The practice receives a large number of requests for sickness certification and has a procedure in place to deal with these requests.


Outside of a consultation, requests should normally be made in writing and the doctors will endeavour to issue sick notes within 2 working days of receipt of the request. Ordinarily these would be signed by doctors once a day before the start of morning surgery.


Doctors have a responsibility to put themselves in a position to be able to issue individual sick notes and will usually need to review a patient’s medical record including relevant hospital correspondence before issuing certificates.


There may be occasions ( for example when the reason for the request is not clear) when patients will be asked to see or speak to a GP about the request and sometimes the request will be forwarded to another doctor who is more familiar with the patient’s medical history. This can sometimes lead to a slight delay in issuing the certificate.


We realise that patients may be very anxious to get their certificates as soon as possible but it is not practical or appropriate for patients to be issued with sick notes on demand at the surgery or for doctors to have their surgeries interrupted to sign sick notes. We appreciate your understanding in this regard.


You do not require a doctor's sickness certificate for any illness lasting seven days or less. Your employer may however require you to complete a self-certification form (SC2) which is available from your employer or on the HMRC website.


Evidence that you are sick

If you are sick for more than seven days, your employer can ask you to give them some form of medical evidence to support payment of SSP (statutory sick pay).

It is up to your employer to decide whether you are incapable of work. A medical certificate, now called a 'Statement of Fitness for Work’ (see below) from your doctor is strong evidence that you are sick and would normally be accepted, unless there is evidence to prove otherwise. If you require a certificate please complete a Medical Request Form Medical Certificate which can be emailed to us at    

You could also provide evidence from someone who is not a medical practitioner, e.g. a dentist. Your employer will decide whether or not this evidence is acceptable. If your employer has any doubts, they may still ask for a medical certificate from your GP.

Statement of Fitness for Work - ’Fit Note'

The 'fit note' was introduced on 6 April 2010. With your employer's support, the note will help you return to work sooner by providing more information about the effects of your illness or injury.

For more information see the DirectGov website (where this information was sourced).


Private sick certificate

Certificate requests outside of the above guidance re charged at £13.00

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