New legislation coming into force on July 1, 2022 means that pharmacists in specific settings, nurses, occupational therapists and physiotherapists can write and administer form notes to patients when they have been absent from work for seven days or more . The change comes after discussions within government to reduce the workload of GPs. Specifically, pharmacists who work in general practices or hospitals can issue fitness scores, where they can fully assess a patient’s health and fitness for duty, while community pharmacists will not. authorized to issue proficiency marks.
The change comes after lobbying by the current Health Secretary, Sajid Javid, with the backing of Primary Care Minister Maria Caulfield, with the eventual aim of freeing up 50 million more appointments a year into general practices in the NHS by 2024.
“The policy change means that tailored notes can be issued to patients by pharmacists in healthcare facilities, occupational therapists, nurses and physiotherapists”
“Fitness notes should only be issued after a full assessment of a patient’s fitness for duty, so it would be an unsuitable service to provide ‘over the counter’.”
– Directorate for Work and Pensions
Concerns about next steps to allow community pharmacists to provide fit notes, or “Med3s,” include access to patient medical records, facilities to assess patient health, and provision of resources and staff. adequate to handle the additional workload. Discussions are also taking place on how to provide the general public with information on access to health resources, so that patients know who to consult and for what.
This policy change highlights the need for a redistribution of responsibilities within the multidisciplinary team and a redistribution of resources to better offer workplace and community health care to patients and foster better collaboration. between health professionals. Hopefully these changes will ease the workload for GPs and mean that waiting times for appointments and administrative work will be reduced for GPs, and health monitoring and assessments can be carried out more regularly and more easily, by more trained people.
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