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Sick notes to be replaced by 'fit note' system

The current system for sick-notes will be scrapped and replaced by a ‘fit-note' system, in a series of recommendations by a Government advisor.

Dame Carol Black's report on the health of Britain's working age population includes plans to replace sick notes with forms completes by GPs informing potential employers what patients are fit to do at work.

It is hoped that the reforms will cut the number of people on long-term incapacity benefit and avoid the difficulties GPs faced issuing sick notes.

Dr Hamish Meldrum, chair of the BMC council, said the review was long overdue.

‘The detail of how a ‘well note' system would operate needs to be carefully examined, including the workload implications and the avoidance of any conflict of interest. The GP must continue to act as the patient's advocate, not a policing arm of the Department for Work and Pensions.'

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