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Can I get a fit note without seeing a GP?

A fit note must be signed by a doctor, but you do not always need to see a GP in person to get one.

It depends on:

  • why you're off work sick
  • whether a GP needs to assess you face to face
  • if you have been in hospital

"Fit note" is the informal name for a Statement of Fitness for Work. Find out more about when you need a fit note.

Important coronavirus advice

Do not ask your GP for a fit note if you are off work because of coronavirus. Instead you can get an isolation note to send to your employer as proof you need to stay at home.

To find out more, see our coronavirus self-isolation advice.

GP appointments and telephone consultations

If you need a fit note, contact your GP practice. They will tell you whether you should make an appointment to see a GP or book a phone consultation.

A GP can give you a fit note on the day they assess you or at any time after the assessment.

Hospital treatment

If you have been in hospital, a hospital doctor can give you a fit note, as well as a certificate to confirm that you have been an inpatient.

What if I've already seen another healthcare professional?

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

  • nurse
  • physiotherapist
  • occupational therapist

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

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

Further information

Page last reviewed: 17 October 2019
Next review due: 17 October 2022