Coronavirus Information

Covid-19 and Request for Doctor’s Note (the Med3 ‘Fit Note”)

Request for certification of absence from the workplace may fall into five categories:

Personally affected so isolating for seven days

Patients can and should self-certify for the first seven days as normal if they are unfit to work. They do not need to contact their GP.

Personally affected and remaining unwell for over seven days

If they remain unwell and unfit to work after seven days the current advice to visit where there is an online self-assessment tools: the patient may be invited to call 111 and given further advice a MED3 certificate emailed to them. They do not need to contact their GP.

Household contact affected so isolating for fourteen days as per government advice.

At risk group so following government advice.

GPs cannot and are not the gatekeeper of the statutory sick pay system. Employers are responsible for putting in place arrangements for home/remote working where it is possible. Where it is not, the employee may self-certify and return to work following the relevant absence which their employer may authorise as per government advice.

Where they do become unwell during or after this time, point 1 or 2 applies. They do not need to contact their GP.

Those in full time education

There is no NHS requirement to issue certification to schools or colleges to confirm absence. These organisations must work with parents and students to ensure that any absence is appropriately recorded, obviating the need for a ‘doctor’s note’. They do not need to contact their GP.

As per the current S13 Guidance for Employers it should be noted that:

By law, medical evidence is not required for the first 7 days of sickness. After 7 days, it is for the employer to determine any evidence they require, if any, from their employee. This does not need to be a fit note (MED3) issued by a GP or any other doctor.

Your employee will be advised to isolate themselves and not to work in contact with other people by NHS111 or Public Health England if they are a carrier of, or have been in contact with, an infectious or contagious disease, such as Covid-19.

We strongly suggest that employers use their discretion around the need for medical evidence for a period of absence where an employee is advised to stay at home due to suspected Covid-19, in accordance with the public health advice being issued by the government.

This note has been written for and on behalf of your surgery by Wessex LMCs, the body in statute that represents, supports and advises Wessex GPs and their practice teams.

Our GPs have a responsibility to prioritise the assessment and management of the needs of their patients at this challenging time, we thank you for your support in helping us achieve this.

GP Appointments

Due to the Coronavirus Outbreak we are temporarily changing our appointment booking system.

Our Triage System continues to operate as usual, for those patients who feel they have an urgent need to speak to, or be seen by a clinician on the day.

We apologise for the inconvenience, however, in order to keep our patients and Healthcare Team safe by minimising contact, due to the Coronavirus outbreak, The Castle Practice has suspended booking of routine face to face appointments.

Booking Appointments

Our On-line booking facility has temporarily been removed, as on a daily basis our capacity may change at short notice.

We are replacing our routine appointments with an on the day, phone first system. You will need to ensure that you are available to take both the call back from the clinician, and to attend an appointment on the day if this is required. If this is not possible then please hang up and call back on a day when you will be available.

If you would like a routine appointment please choose the “speak to a receptionist option” when you telephone in. The receptionist will need to take some details from you so that the clinician can prioritise their calls. Our Receptionists are working on the instruction of the Clinicians so please help them with a clear description of your problem.

Ordering of repeat prescriptions

During the outbreak of Coronavirus, for your own safety and that of other people including our Practice Team, we are trying to minimise the numbers of visits patients have to make to get their repeat prescriptions. Where your repeat medication is suitable, we will be converting them to an Electronic Dispensed Prescription, this will be processed for a 3 month period. You will then be able to visit the pharmacy monthly to collect your medication, at which point they will inform you of your next order/collection date.

Telephone Prescription Requests

We are able to take a prescription over the telephone, by using our Patient Partner Automated Repeat Prescription Service. Please speak with a member of the Reception Team to get your login.

In addition to this we are still accepting SystmOnline Prescription requests, which is an on-line ordering system. If you do not have a login for this please refer to the online requests tab and select Order your repeat prescription.

More Information

For more information about the Coronavirus, please visit: