Get a note from your doctor (GANFYD)

Patients will sometimes consult with a view to getting a note from their doctor. Some of these requests for letters are reasonable. For instance, in insurance medical reports where some knowledge of the patient's medical background is important and so the GP has something useful to contribute.

Sadly, many of these requests range from unnecessary to frankly absurd. Many are requested by people in positions of administrative responsibility who are not willing to believe information supplied by the patient, seek to avoid or shift legal responsibility for potential adverse consequences, or choose to impose effort and cost on the patient regardless of the effects on other services. Examples include letters to certify fitness to travel, fitness to work and fitness to undertake certain activities, e.g. acting, modelling, sitting examinations, using the gym, starting an exercise/diet programme, parachute jumping, diving etc.

At other times patients may come for letters on their own initiative, often in an attempt to recruit the doctor's support to avoid something undesirable, e.g. justifying an absence from work, trying to get off a speeding fine, etc.

Regardless of how valid the request may be, these letters are a form of medical report. They are therefore classed as private work and attract a fee. Please see the Practice Price List.

Letters for Court

It is not uncommon for patients to request "sick notes" to explain why they did not attend, or cannot attend, court. In some instances such requests may be motivated by an understandable anxiety due to the fact that they know they are likely to be found guilty of an offence.

All such requests must come from the courts. Doctors who have provided sick notes for such purposes, other than at the request of the court have, in the past, been heavily censured, and risk being found to be in contempt of court.

Note, also, that Med 3 and self-certification certificates are for statutory sick pay purposes only, and should only be used for statutory sick pay.

please see this link:

Excusal from Jury Service

Similar rules apply to patients who want evidence to excuse themselves from jury service. Your doctor does not have to provide you with a letter unless asked for by the court - Delaying or being excused from jury service

In addition, if a patient requests a "sick note" because they are anxious about appearing as a witness, they might find it helpful to visit Victim Support, and they should contact the court for advice about the witness counselling and protection services that are available.


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