Patients with suspected coronavirus (Covid-19) who self-isolate can request a confirmation email from NHS 111 instead of a sick note from their GP. The government have confirmed that those informed to self-isolate by 111 will be considered to be on sick leave.
Those who self-isolate qualify immediately for statutory sickness pay. You may self-validate for seven days.
After the seven days, you may seek an email confirmation of the diagnosis by dialling 111, thereby avoiding an unnecessary and potentially dangerous trip to either their GP or to hospital.
If you are shielding please use your shielding letter (This comes either centrally from NHS England, your hospital team or from us).
Please note any disagreements with your employer with regards to how you can work safely during the pandemic must be dealt with directly with your employer and the relevant authorities. A sick note cannot be issued for this reason.
Please see full guidance on this below:
In light of the current Coronavirus situation, it is inevitable that a number of employees may be required to quarantine themselves at home for example due to the nature of recent travel, even in the absence of any symptoms of an illness. In these cases, your GP will not be abIe to issue a sick note as the time off work is not due to an illness, and isn’t affecting your ability to work, but rather is a precaution to avoid transmission of any illness that is yet to produce symptoms.
We therefore expect your employer to be sympathetic if you are required to self-isolate for 14 days and to understand that the reason for this is to protect the welfare of your work colleagues and the wider community. We understand that you may also be able to call NHS 111 to request an email confirmation of the suspected Coronavirus diagnosis, to show to your employer if needed.
Whilst we appreciate this may cause some difficulties between you and your employer, equally GPs have a responsibility to prioritise the assessment and management of the healthcare needs of patients who are acutely unwell, rather than spending time dealing with requests for sick notes, particularly when they aren’t in a position to issue one.
Also, for children taking time off school, there is no NHS requirement for GPs to provide letters to the school to confirm this. As I am sure you will appreciate, with the rapidly evolving Coronavirus situation, and the already existing pressures on GPs to meet the day to day demands from ill patients, the practice is unable to accommodate a school request for a GP letter. We hope that schools will work with parents to ensure any time off is appropriately recorded, obviating the need for a doctor’s note.
This briefing has been written for and on behalf of your GP surgery, so please accept this as a reply to your request for a sick note/letter from the surgery.