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'No need for GP's sicknote'

A pilot scheme using companies' occupational health and personnel departments to handle sickness certification is set to begin in April.

Under the scheme, in

Macclesfield, Cheshire, a major employer has agreed to stop demanding statutory sick- notes from its 1,000 staff if they are absent for more than a week.

Employees who are too sick to return after the seven-day self-certification period but expect to get better through self-medication will be told to speak to the human resources and the occupational health department.

Dr Simon Fradd, chair of the Doctor Patient Partnership, said GPs would not be involved unless there was a need for clinical care.

Dr Peter Madden, honorary secretary of South Cheshire LMC and a GP in Macclesfield, said the scheme was a good idea but many companies did not have these departments.

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