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Re: Coronavirus and Requests for Doctor’s Notes (Med3)

 

Dear Patient and/or Employer,

 

The Government’s rules around issuing a sick note (Med3) are that a medical professional can only issue a Med3 when an individual has had more than seven continuous calendar days off sick due to an illness (including weekends).

 

For any period of illness less than seven days, you are able to complete a self-certification certificate and provide this to your employer. A SC2 form can be downloaded from the internet. In the unlikely event that your employer does not accept a self-certification then your doctor may be able to issue a private sick note for which you may get charged.

 

Below is the address where this form can be downloaded:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/statutory-sick-pay-employees-statement-of-sickness-sc2

 

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, or because other members of the household are showing symptoms even in the absence of any symptoms of an illness in the employee. In these cases, GPs 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. You can now go line using the link below in order to obtain an isolation note from the NHS 111 website:

https://111.nhs.uk/isolation-note/

 

.ACAS have also published guidance for employees and employers which can be referred to below:

 

https://www.acas.org.uk/coronavirus

 

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.

 

This briefing has been written for and on behalf of Culcheth Medical Centre, so please accept this as a reply to any request for a sick note/letter from the surgery.

 

Yours sincerely,

On behalf of the partners,

 

Shelley Moores

Practice Manager

Wuhan novel coronavirus

Information about the virus

A coronavirus is a type of virus. As a group, coronaviruses are common across the world. Typical symptoms of coronavirus include fever and a cough that may progress to a severe pneumonia causing shortness of breath and breathing difficulties.

Generally, coronavirus can cause more severe symptoms in people with weakened immune systems, older people, and those with long-term conditions like diabetes, cancer and chronic lung disease.

Wuhan novel coronavirus is a new strain of coronavirus first identified in Wuhan City, China.

Advice for travellers from Wuhan

If you have visited Wuhan and develop a fever, difficulty breathing or a cough within 14 days, you should seek medical attention either in China or on your return to the UK. In the UK, please stay indoors and avoid contact with others where possible, call your GP or ring 111 informing them of your symptoms and your recent travel to the city. Do not come down to the doctors surgery.

Summary of action taken

There is now  advanced monitoring at airports with direct flights from China.

A team of public health experts has been established in Heathrow to support anyone travelling in from China who feels unwell. These hubs will bring in rotational teams of 7 clinicians, working in shifts, who will be on hand to support patients on arrival. This is in addition to medical staff who are already permanently in place at all UK airports and the advice issued to all UK airports for people travelling to and from China.

The government has issued clinical guidance for the detection and diagnosis of Wuhan novel coronavirus, and infection prevention and control.

The Chief Medical Officer, Medical Director at PHE and Medical Director at NHSE/I have issued advice via a CAS (Central Alerting System) alert to frontline staff to increase awareness of the situation and any actions to take.

Most people who develop symptoms will get them after leaving the airport and so the priority is providing UK residents and travellers with the latest information to make sure they know what to do if they experience symptoms, and the NHS and PHE have an established plan to respond to someone who becomes unwell.

China has also introduced port-of-exit screening so people already exhibiting symptoms are not allowed to leave the country.

Diagnosis and analysis

Based on current evidence, Wuhan novel coronavirus presents with flu-like symptoms including a fever, a cough, or difficulty breathing. The current evidence is that most cases appear to be mild. Those who have died in Wuhan appear to have had pre-existing health conditions.

When a clinician suspects Wuhan novel coronavirus, they take samples from the nose, throat and deeper respiratory samples, package and send them safely to Public Health England Colindale.

 

 OUT OF HOURS CARE:

Please phone NHS 111

NHS 111

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