It depends why you're off work sick and whether your GP wants to see you in person before they issue a fit note.
A fit note must be signed by a doctor but you don't always need to see your GP in person to get one.
It depends on:
- why you're off work sick
- whether your GP needs to assess you face-to-face
- if you've been in hospital
"Fit note" is the informal name for the Statement of Fitness for Work. For more information, see When do I need a fit note?
GP appointments and telephone consultations
If you need a fit note, contact your GP practice. They will tell you whether you should make an appointment to see your GP or book a phone consultation.
Your GP can issue the fit note on the day they assess you or at any time after the assessment.
If you have been in hospital, a hospital doctor can issue a fit note, as well as a certificate to confirm that you have been an inpatient.
What if I've already seen another healthcare professional?
You may already have seen another registered healthcare professional, such as a:
- occupational therapist
In this case, your GP can base your fit note on a report written by that registered healthcare professional. For example:
- a hospital discharge summary or hospital letter
- notes from a previous consultation with another GP at the same practice
What if I have a Return to Work Plan?
If you've been off work or are expecting to be off work for four weeks or more, your employer or doctor may refer you, with your consent, to the Fit for Work service.
A Fit for Work professional would then discuss the type of support you need to return to work and produce a Return to Work Plan which your employer can accept instead of a fit note.
If you have a Return to Work Plan you won't need to obtain further fit notes from your GP.
For more information, visit Fit for Work.