Ribblesdale Medical Practice

Sick certificates

You do not require a doctor’s sickness certificate for any illness lasting seven days or less. Your employer may however require you to complete a self-certification form (SC2) which is available from your employer, on the HMRC website or alternatively you can request a copy at reception.

Evidence that you are sick

If you are sick for more than seven days, your employer can ask you to give them some form of medical evidence to support payment of SSP (statutory sick pay).

It is up to your employer to decide whether you are incapable of work. A medical certificate, now called a ‘Statement of Fitness for Work’ (see below) from your doctor is strong evidence that you are sick and would normally be accepted, unless there is evidence to prove otherwise.

You could also provide evidence from someone who is not a medical practitioner, e.g. a dentist. Your employer will decide whether or not this evidence is acceptable. If your employer has any doubts, they may still ask for a medical certificate from your GP.

Statement of Fitness for Work – ’Fit Note’

With your employer’s support, the fit note will help you return to work sooner by providing more information about the effects of your illness or injury.

For more information visit the Gov.uk website

GP Letters for a Period of Absence from School

Recently the request from schools to provide medical evidence for either failure o f a student to attend school due to illness or for written confirmation of the necessity for a student to take medication has significantly increased. Where school nurses are available they should be able to manage / administer over the counter medication without the GP providing written confirmation. In the absence of school nurses the school needs to ensure they have a policy on how minor ailments will be managed in school with over the counter medicines provided by parents. There is no NHS requirement for GPs to provide this type of evidence and in the current climate with demand on GP services from the public GP’s unfortunately do not have the capacity to provide such information.

We support and acknowledge parents who aim to self- manage their children’s ailments but it does appear that the education system appears to penalise their intentions by failing to recognise their commitment and in return demand a GP letter to prove the period of absence, which the GP is unable to provide if the child has not been seen. In return to obtain such documentation parents are booking GP appointments for self-limiting illnesses that they are comfortable managing purely to obtain a letter for the school which is a waste of scarce NHS resource.

This letter has been produced by Rochdale and Bury Local Medical Committee that supports and represents GP practices across the Boroughs of Rochdale and Bury. It is confirmation that a child has required time off due to an illness as managed by the parent but not had a review by the registered GP. The letter will be completed by the parent / Next of Kin of the absent student and submitted to the school at the earliest possible opportunity. This letter should be accepted on behalf of the parent of the student and is recognition that the parent feels their child needs time off from school to manage a self-limiting illness which the parent at present acknowledges does not require an assessment by their registered GP practice.

Follow the link to download the letter or alternatively you can request a copy at reception.


Date published: 8th October, 2014
Date last updated: 16th April, 2020