27 September 2007
The government is moving to end the role of GPs in issuing sick notes to their patients.
Dame Carol Black, national director for health and work, is consulting with GPs over the idea of using Back to Work Teams in doctors surgeries to take over responsibility for deciding who gets issued with a Med 3 sick note. It is not possible to begin claiming statutory sick pay, incapacity benefit or income support as incapable of work without first getting a sick note from your GP.
The Back to Work Teams will be made up of physiotherapists, nurses, psychologists and 'employment advisers'. Dame Black told the Daily Telegraph "Too often doctors reach for a sick note when what is needed is some quick therapy, to agree adjustment to their working life, and to get them back to work."
Dame Black will submit her proposals to ministers in January 2008.