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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 (COVID-19) advice

Do not ask your GP for a fit note if you are off work because of COVID-19. Instead you can get an isolation note to send to your employer as proof you need to stay at home.

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