Increasing the number of fit notes issued by local hospital doctors
Following a series of queries from colleagues in general practice, Guys and St Thomas' (GSTT) have increased the number of fit notes issued by hospital doctors to working patients upon discharge. This should avoid unnecessary referrals to GPs solely for the purpose of obtaining a sickness certification.
As a result, GSTT have established a Quality Improvement project. They have created a new 'fit note' tab on the Electronic Patient Record system, meaning that hospital doctors can issue fit notes more easily and it enables the hospital to measure the number of fit notes being issued. This will help to identify areas where the number of fit notes issued are not in line with expectation and provide additional support where needed.
Another major element was providing hospital doctors with relevant guidance and information. This included information and awareness on the approximate amount of time off work patients are likely to require based on their specific intervention or condition.
Since last January, there has been a notable increase in the number of fit notes issued to patients, which further increased following the provision of information and guidance for hospital doctors. In January and February, 142 fit notes were issued.
Colleagues at GSTT hope that this is avoiding unnecessary GP appointments.