Integrating the Statement of Fitness for Work into Hospital Sickness Certification Processes
Attached is a letter sent from Dr Bill Gunnyeon, DWP Chief Medical Adviser. He has sent it to all English hospitals and Trusts together with a box of the new Statement of Fitness for Work forms. They are to be distributed to their hospitals in time for the 6 April launch date.
He has asked to that trusts ensure the revised forms and information about them is cascaded to the relevant personnel within hospitals. He reminds them that, where appropriate, a Medical Statement should be provided by the doctor who, at the time, has clinical responsibility for the patient.
Whilst pointing out that this is usually the GP, he states that where a hospital doctor has clinical responsibility they should assume responsibility for the patient’s sickness certification needs. The failure to do this leads to patients unnecessarily visiting their GPs and explaining their health condition to a doctor who is less familiar with their recent medical history. This does not benefit the patient or the GP as, in many cases, it is the hospital doctor who is best placed to advise the patient on their fitness for work.