Health Education England launches staff training after fit note change

Following legislative changes to fit grade policy, Health Education England (HEE) now offers training to new professions who are now eligible to deliver one.

The new rules, enforced by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), state that nurses, pharmacists, occupational therapists and physiotherapists can now provide a certification mark indicating whether a person is fit to work or not.

The changes are designed to take some of the pressure off GPs and doctors, while streamlining patient journeys and making it faster and easier for patients to get what they need.

Mark Radford, Deputy Chief Executive and Chief Nursing Officer of Health Education England, said: “We welcome this change in law and the opportunity to develop services more flexibly and to draw on the skills of nurses, pharmacists , expert occupational therapists and physiotherapists.

“Health Education England has taken the lead with other countries in enabling these changes to be made across the UK and making training easily accessible to staff who want to develop these new skills.”

The training will be delivered through HEE elearning for healthwhich will take place in partnership with the DWP.

HEE has also developed guidelines advising newly eligible professions on how to certify compliance scores with confidence and authority – these guidelines will be available on the government website.

Christian Brailsford, South West Regional Nursing Manager for Health Education England, said: “I welcome the news that the ability to issue fitness notes is being extended to other professions.

“Allowing nurses, occupational therapists, pharmacists and physiotherapists to certify fitness notes provides benefits for patients and the healthcare system and better recognizes innovations in using a multidisciplinary workforce to support the patients.

“These healthcare professionals can engage more directly with patients on work and health issues without having to re-route fitness note certification requests through physicians.

More information about the new training is available here.

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