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Sick Note to Fit Note: one trust’s project to improve usage by hospital clinicians
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  • Published on:
    Lack of embeddedness of Electronic Fit Notes in the NHS Secondary Care
    • Syed Ghulam Sarwar Shah, Post Doctoral Research Fellow Occupational Health Department, The Education Centre, St Thomas' Hospital, Westminster Bridge Road, London, SE1 7EH, UK

    Moran et al1 report the uptake and practice of issuing Electronic Fit Notes (e- Fit Notes) in a secondary care setting in the NHS highlighting several issues including lack of doctors’ training on e–fit notes, variation in the practice of issuance of e-fit notes and technological issues supporting e-fit notes.
    This study is timely and important as it reveals the lack of full embeddedness of e-Fit Notes in the NHS secondary care despite introduction of e-fit notes (eMed3) in 2012 initially in the primary care.2 While there are no precise statistics on e-Fit Notes issued in the secondary care, 12,671,880 e-fit notes were issued in the primary care from December 2014 to March 2017.3 Nevertheless, the number of e-fit notes issued in secondary care is expected to be less than in the primary care (general practice) because e-fit notes issued in the secondary care will relate to patients attending A&E, hospital in patients such as those admitted for an elective surgery / procedure, patients with mental health issues requiring regular review and some patients attending hospital out-patients, for these types of patients issuance of e-fit notes is the responsibility of hospital doctors attending the patients.4
    Medical doctors working in the NHS include doctors who have been trained in the UK, other EU member countries and non-EU countries such as India where the practice of Fit Notes could be different from the UK. In addition, medical doctors either trained in the U...

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    Conflict of Interest:
    None declared.