GPs no longer have to put their signature on fit notes for patients, the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) has said.
In a bid to reduce workload, instead of GPs adding a handwritten or electronic signature, a new version of the form automatically includes the issuer’s name and profession.
GPs should continue to issue fit notes as before until their computer system has been updated, DHSC said.
The Government had pledged to lessen GP workload relating to fit notes in the longer term, including by making them fully digital and encouraging hospital doctors to issue them to their patients.
An update to the fit note GP guidance on the DHSC website said: ‘From April 2022, you may notice changes to the fit note as a new version of the form is rolled out.
‘The requirement for the doctor to sign the form in ink has been removed and replaced by the issuer’s name and profession being included in the new form.
‘There will be a period during which both the new and previous version of the fit notes are legally valid. Until your IT system is updated you should continue to issue fit notes as before, including signing them in ink.’