Patients requesting a Doctor’s Sick Note (MED3 Fit Note) or GP Letter for Absence relating to COVID19 Coronavirus
If you have requested a Doctor’s Sick Note from your GP in relation to being off work. The Government’s rules around issuing a sick note (MED3 Fit Note) are that a medical professional can only issue a MED3 when an individual has had more than seven continuous calendar days off sick due to an illness (including weekends).

For any period of illness less than seven days, you are able to complete a self-certification certificate and provide this to your employer. For periods of absence longer than 7 days, people with suspected coronavirus will soon be able to have a sick note issued digitally through NHS 111. Please follow this link for further information:
https://www.digitalhealth.net/2020/03/sick-notes-to-be-automated-through-nhs-111-to-prevent-covid-19-spread/

In light of the current Coronavirus situation, it is inevitable that a number of employees may be required to quarantine themselves at home for example due to the nature of recent travel, even in the absence of any symptoms of an illness. In these cases, your GP will not be able to issue a sick note as the time off work is not due to an illness, and isn’t affecting your ability to work, but rather is a precaution to avoid transmission of any illness that is yet to produce symptoms.

Government guidance expects your employer to be sympathetic if you are required to self-isolate for 14 days and to understand that the reason for this is to protect the welfare of your work colleagues and the wider community. We understand that you may soon be able to contact NHS 111 online to request an email confirmation of the suspected Coronavirus diagnosis, to show to your employer if needed.

Please visit the following websites for the latest official guidance for employers:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-and-businesses-about-covid-19
https://www.acas.org.uk/coronavirus

Whilst we appreciate this may cause some difficulties between you and your employer, equally GPs have a responsibility to prioritise the assessment and management of the healthcare needs of patients who are acutely unwell, rather than spending time dealing with requests for sick notes, particularly when they aren’t in a position to issue one.

Requests for a GP Letter relating to Children’s Absence from School relating to COVID19 Coronavirus
For children taking time off school, there is no NHS requirement for GPs to provide letters to the school to confirm this. As I am sure you will appreciate, with the rapidly evolving Coronavirus situation, and the existing pressures on GPs to meet the day to day demands from ill patients, the practice is unable to accommodate a school request for a GP letter. We hope that schools will work with parents to ensure any time off is appropriately recorded, obviating the need for a doctor’s note.

Please do not contact the surgery for a MED3 Sick Note or GP Letter relating to COVID19 Coronavirus.

Thank you.