Health Education England launches staff training after fit note change

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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 been leading with other countries to enable these changes to be made across the UK and to make training easily accessible to staff who wish to develop these new skills.”

The training will be delivered via HEE elearning for health, which will run 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 made 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 scores 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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