Managing Workload LMC Advice: School Certificates (July 2017)
School Medical Certificates
The NHS service does not provide any payment for Occupational Health Service for patients and that means the only medical certificates that GPs are required to provide are set out in the GMS and PMS Contract. In essence that is the provision of a MED 3 to an adult.
Schools and some employers attempt to regulate sickness absence by requiring the provision of a doctors certificate and sometimes this is for each day of absence. It has long been recognised by both the profession and the Government that such provision is unnecessary, wasteful of GP resources and impacts on those who genuinely need to medical support.
The LMC does not believe that practices should accede to such requests.
A standard letter which the LMC has drafted is attached, and can be sent by your practice to schools where such requests have become a problem to you.
The LMC does not believe that charging for certificates, which of course you would have the right to do, is appropriate as it discriminates against those that cannot afford, it still wastes appointments and it encourages schools to continue to pressurise parents to obtain certificates.
Where of course a child has a medical condition that impacts on their education GPs are obliged to work with the education authorities to assist your patient. However this should be based on the school approaching the GP with the consent of the parent and providing relevant advice to the child and the school regarding the management of the condition, not just the provision of a medical certificate.
Please contact the LMC office for further advice if the attached letter is not successful in resolving issues with your local school.