Statement of Fitness for Work (Fit Notes)

The Department for Work & Pensions via the NHS’s data centre, The Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) is proposing to extract anonymous data relating to Statement of Fitness for Work (Fit Notes) from GP practice systems in order to obtain national data of sickness absence to inform policy development and evaluate the new service Fit for Work (  Fit for Work is designed to support employed people with health conditions.

Data derived from computer generated fit notes will be used to gain a better understanding of sickness absence across England in order that policy can be developed to provide support where it is needed most, helping people with health conditions to return to work earlier.  The data will be completely anonymous to protect patient privacy.  It will include:

* How many computer-generated fit notes are issued

* How many patients are recorded as ‘unfit’ or ‘maybe fit’ for work

* Fit note duration

* Gender

* Health condition type aggregated to a high level diagnosis code

* Location, including Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) areas

* Whether workplace adaptions were recommended

This fit note data will begin to be extracted from GP systems across England during February 2016 and will start to be published from Spring 2016.  The first data collection will include fit notes issued from December 2014 but this will exclude data about patients who have objected to identifiable data about them leaving the GP practice for purposes beyond their direct care prior to the time this first collection is made.  Data collection for any patient who registers an objection subsequently will be excluded from the point this is registered.

The data will be published by the HSCIC at Clinical Commissioning Group level and above.

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