From 6 April GP practices have had the option of producing fit notes which do not require a physical signature. The main changes include:
- GPs’ names will be automatically captured by their IT systems from their user login.
- The exact date the system will be updated depends on your system supplier.
- Until the new template is delivered, GPs should continue to use the current version, which still requires a signature in ink to be valid.
- Until the systems are fully updated both the previous and new versions are legally compliant and employers have been told they must accept both.
- If patients cannot receive the fit note digitally or require a paper copy, then this must be provided (but does not require an ink signature).
- If there are issues, the form can still be completed by hand and authorised by the doctor writing their name, or signing the fit note in the relevant place and will still be legally compliant.
- Hospitals will still be using paper fit notes ordered from DWP, but from 6 April this should be on the new template.