Can I get signed off sick from work without seeing my GP?

It depends on:

  • why you’re off work sick
  • whether your GP wants to see you in person before they issue a fit note

Fit note is the informal name for the Statement of Fitness for Work. For more information, see What are fit notes?

GP appointments and telephone consultations

Your GP practice will tell you whether you need to see your GP to get a fit note. They will tell you whether you should:

  • make an appointment to see your GP
  • book a phone consultation with your GP

Your fit note will be issued on the day that your GP examines you or speaks to you.

From early July 2012, your GP may start to give you a computer-completed fit note, rather than a handwritten fit note. They will be printed on one side of A4 paper and will include the same information as handwritten fit notes, presented side by side rather than front and back.

Your GP may still give you a handwritten fit note, for example, during home visits or until your GP's computer system has been upgraded.

If your fit note is issued based on a telephone assessment, you will need to collect it from your GP practice, or you can ask someone else to collect it for you.

If you’ve already seen your GP and need to ask for a fit note more than a day later, they may issue a fit note without seeing you again.

What if I’ve already seen another healthcare professional?

You may already have seen another doctor or registered healthcare professional, such as a:

  • nurse
  • physiotherapist
  • occupational therapist

In this case, your GP can base your fit note on a report written by that doctor or registered healthcare professional. For example:

  • a hospital discharge summary or hospital letter
  • notes from a previous consultation with another GP at the same practice

Read the answers to more questions about workplace health.

Further information:

Page last reviewed: 27/06/2012

Next review due: 26/06/2014