By Laura Passi
The Government has set up a new helpline providing occupational health advice for GPs assessing patients for 'fit notes'.
The advice line will help GPs decide what is best for patients who are returning to work - for example, whether the patient could return to work on a flexible basis over a period of time while they fully recover.
Fit notes replaced sick notes in April this year, with the new forms requiring GPs to assess the duties a patient could carry out at work.
The fit note helpline is delivered by NHS Plus on behalf of the Department for Work and Pensions. It can be reached on 0800 022 4233 and is also supported by a new website for GPs and other primary healthcare professionals.
Similar phone services are available in Scotland (0800 019 2211) and Wales (0800 107 0900).