For the first 7 days of your illness, you need to supply a "self certificate". This is a certificate that you fill in yourself and is not completed by your Doctor. You can obtain a self certificate from your employer or from the surgery reception desk. Alternatively, you may fill in the form online and see further information about what to do when you are sick by clicking here.
If you've been off for more than 7 days, then you'll need what is now called a "Fit note". This is usually supplied by the treating Doctor and doesn't necessarily have to be your GP. It could be supplied by an A&E Doctor if you've been seen there, a hospital Doctor if you've recently been an in-patient, or a Doctor who has been seeing you in an out patient clinic about the condition that is keeping you from work. This Doctor should issue the note for the anticipated duration of your illness and may issue further notes at subsequent appointments or follow ups.
If you've been ill for 7 days and not been seen by another Doctor, then you will need to be seen by your GP to obtain a fit note. Please note that we can only back date notes if you've already been seen by another Doctor and we're in receipt of written confirmation of that consultation. We don't necessarily need to see you to reissue a fit note and we sometimes conduct reviews over the phone.
When you are well enough to return to work, you may go back (even if your fit note is for a longer duration). Please note also that you do not need a "signing off note". When you're well enough to return, you simply go back to work. If you are not able to return to your usual duties but able to go back to reduced hours, amended duties or a phased return, let the Doctor know and they can indicate this on the Fit note
For more information, visit the DWP website at Department for Work and Pensions. Our receptionists will be happy to advise you whether you need a note and how to get it.