Completion of fit notes by GPs: a mixed methods study

Coole, Carol and Nouri, Fiona and Potgieter, Iskra and Drummond, Avril E.R. (2015) Completion of fit notes by GPs: a mixed methods study. Perspectives in Public Health, 135 (5). pp. 233-242. ISSN 1757-9147

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Abstract

Aims: The aim of this study was to investigate the completion of fit notes by UK general practitioners (GPs). A series of actual fit notes issued to employed patients were examined, and their GPs’ reflections and experiences of fit note completion explored.

Methods: A mixed-methods design was used. Data were collected from copies of 94 fit notes issued to employed patients by 11 GPs, and from 86 questionnaires completed by these GPs reflecting on the fit notes they had issued. Face-to-face interviews were then conducted with each GP.

Results: Fit note completion is not meeting expectations for a number of reasons. These include the following: limited knowledge and awareness of the guidance in fit note completion; problems with the fit note format; lack of mandatory training in completing fit notes; lack of incentive to change practice; incomplete implementation of the electronic fit note; GPs’ lack of confidence in, and doubts about the appropriateness of performing this role.

Conclusion: If UK GPs are to continue their contractual responsibility for completing fit notes, further consideration of their education and training needs is urgently required. Weaknesses in the design and format of the fit note and the availability of the electronic version also need to be addressed.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Copyright 2016 by Royal Society for Public Health
Keywords: General practitioner, Employees, Fit note, Sickness certification
Schools/Departments: University of Nottingham UK Campus > Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences > School of Health Sciences
University of Nottingham UK Campus > Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences > School of Medicine
Identification Number: https://doi.org/10.1177/1757913915594197
Depositing User: Coole, Carolyn
Date Deposited: 27 Jul 2016 11:12
Last Modified: 15 Sep 2016 09:10
URI: http://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/id/eprint/35459

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